Facebook vs. Twitter Comparisons are a Waste of Time

Facebook Vs. TwitterEveryone loves drama and two foes battling out toe-to-toe for supremacy. In the high-tech world, we celebrate and obsess over rivalries – e.g. Bing vs. Google, and Firefox vs. IE.

So, it’s not surprising to see growing fascination about Twitter vs. Facebook as Facebook extends its platform to include features such as vanity URLs and a more user-friendly API.

While Twitter vs. Facebook obviously makes a good story, it’s a battle getting far more than attention than it deserves. Here’s why:

1. While there is some overlap because Twitter and Facebook are both communications platforms, people use them differently. Twitter is a system to quickly send and receive messages. This is its primary focus, although there are a few other things you can do. While sending/receiving messages is definitely part of Facebook, it’s just one part of the mix as a tool to maintain relationships digitally – in addition to uploading photographs, etc.

2. Twitter is increasingly becoming a tool to share information given the number of URLs included in updates – a phenomena that’s quickly making Twitter an intriguing search tool. On Facebook, sharing consists of photographs, social plans and personal updates. Sure, you can share a link but it’s probably not one of Facebook’s go-to applications.

3. As noted above, Twitter is evolving into a search engine for people looking for ways to search differently and access real-time trends. Facebook is not a search engine, and it’s hard to say whether Facebook Lexicon has much traction as trend tool.

4. Twitter is becoming a popular mobile tool for people to provide updates, including the reporting of news such as the elections in Iran. While Facebook has a mobile footprint, it’s far less compelling than the desktop service.

5. Facebook’s business model is focused on advertising, a volume business driven by page views. Twitter apparently has no interest in advertising and, to date, no business model.

6. Twitter has potential as an enterprise tool so employees can communicate within groups. Facebook use within the corporate environment is tolerated but not encouraged.

So, what do you think? Are Twitter-Facebook comparisons valid or off the mark?

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  • John

    Speaking from a personal point of view, I have not been attracted to twitter. i think it's really an overhyped medium that is being abused by people looking for an alternative social bookmarking tool for marketing/advertising their websites and products.

    Facebook for me is amuch more fun interactive environment where you really keep up to date with friends and colleagues who are based all around the world. For me, Facebook is a much more valuable tool.


  • Rahsheen Porter

    I'ts definitely an apples vs. oranges comparison and I wish people in the tech field would leave it alone. It's not even an interesting discussion. They are just too different.

  • Sara

    I love Twitter because it is quick and easy to use. It is awesome for mobile updates, following news trends of any kind and commenting about them. Twitter is also a great way to share professional knowledge and generate website or blog traffic. I mean the coverage of the Iranian election and the aftermath has been mind blowing.

    On the other hand, Facebook to me is a glorified yearbook/class reunion. I just think FB is a replacement for services that we already have. I mean you don't need Facebook to keep in touch/share pictures with your real friends (email, texting, Flikr, Shutterfly, Snapfish). Whereas, Twitter is something completely unique.

  • Mack

    Not a best comparison, but IMAO Twitter sucks big time.

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