The Twitterization of Facebook
March 16, 2009 by Ryan
Kicking & Screaming: It seems like Facebook is going
to compete with Twitter whether it’s 100’s of millions of
users want it or not!
@joelcomm: 8 million Twitter users is nothing compared to 160 million Facebook users. Yes, it’s big. But you ain’t seen nuttin’ yet.
Facebook has made some curious moves lately:
Twitter: The Little Site that Could
Why are they doing this? Answer: Twitter. Joel Comm calls it “the water cooler of the 21st century.” Gary Vaynerchuck calls it “the little site that could.” Many have viewed these moves as a way for Facebook to compete with Twitter. With Twitter on the rise, it seems like an obvious and necessary move for Facebook. The two sites are very similar and have emerged as the two heavy hitters in the social media landscape. But is it really necessary for Facebook to become Twitter?
Integrating Facebook & Twitter
Many Twitter users have been looking for ways to integrate the two for a long time. Services like Ping.fm and Twitter’s own Facebook app have been used to sync across both networks. More recently, third party Twitter apps like Seesmic (Twhirl), PeopleBrowsr.com and the newest TweetDeck release have added Facebook integration. Generally, Twitter users don’t have issues with using both!
I guess there are some Twitter loyalists out there:
@johnmorgan: Best way for Facebook to be more like twitter? Stop sucking.
Even Demi Moore prefers Tweeting:
@mrskutcher:Facebook is cool but Twitter is the sh*t!
A friend of mine, Jordan Brown, says that, “LinkedIn is for people that I’ve worked with. Facebook is for people I knew in school and growing up. Twitter is for people that I want to know.” That’s how I use it. I don’t necessarily think Facebook needs to make a play at edging out Twitter.
The Shiny New Toy
The problem I see is with Facebook users. Facebook is a great place to connect, to share and to keep up. For some users, Facebook is all they use: no more emailing, no more blogging, no more instant messaging outside of it! Even with all that functionality being overwhelming for some, it’s been a winning formula and Facebook has grown to 160+ million users.
In comes Twitter, with its explosion of users, both everyday and celebrity. It’s the newest, shiniest toy for many people.
Jimmy Fallon is trying to get one of his audience members followers than Barack Obama Twitter account.
But there’s a problem assuming everyone wants the same thing. Facebook serves a certain need and it has done it very well. Is it worth disenchanting Facebook’s established user-base to edge out Twitter? I’ve already seen numerous complaints about the new design. Just search for “keep the old design” in Facebook and look how many Facebook groups there are!
Here are some questions I’ve been asking:
Is Facebook looking to capitalize on an “inevitable” collapse of the revenue-less Twitter?
Will Facebook users warm to the new functionality or will there be another exodus (like the one over the recently discarded TOS revison)?
What do you think?