You can’t compare Twitter to Facebook

February 23, 2009

I’m a little weary of the Twitter Vs. Facebook debate.

I posted this comment on Fred Wilson’s blog. I thought I would share here:

Twitter is the status service of the web-wide social network. Facebook status updates are the status update feature of Facebook. The web will always be bigger than Facebook therefore Twitter’s potential as a messaging bus will always be greater.

While Twitter continues to create loosely coupled links across the open web (a lightweight process), Facebook continues to try to expand the perimeter of its walled garden (a heavy weight process that is creating a backlash from major brands and savvy users).

Twitter is public and asymmetrical. It allows for bots and other innovations.

Facebook is private and symmetrical, forcing users to use their real names and deciding which updates get through to follower news feed.

The two services couldn’t be more different and the influence and effectiveness of their scale can not be measured 1:1.

3 Responses to “You can’t compare Twitter to Facebook”

  1. Bertil Says:

    I’d have to disagree. How much more cooking is done indoors, in spite of the place being limited? The key element is whether the space is relevant for it, and privacy is not a drawback for that.

    Most of my updates are very public (comments on SNS recent events), as well as are those that I care to read, so I fully appreciate the value of Twitter for that — but I don’t understand why posters say they prefer Twitter because it gives them a greater impression of *privacy*: just spend some tim on http://search.twitter.com/search?q=facebook and see for yourself. Maybe it’s the difference with expectations: Facebook is more public than the cosy re-inforecement make it seem, while Twitter is clearly a stage.

    Although I understand that Twitter has far more generativity, no significant added feature is going to be hard to re-code within Facebook, and the finer privacy options allow far more type of interactions, including web-scrapable. Twitter might win in the long tail, or offer more public data — but saying that Twitter is the size of the web neglects many evidence, for instance the fact that they don’t offer functionning RSS so far. Personnally, I’d love it to be open — if only, for research purposes; but I still think something closer to e-mail will work, and that would be OAuth-enabled status updates.

  2. cinema Says:

    thanks you admin RSS so far. Personnally, I’d love it to be open — if only, for research purposes; but I still think something closer to e-mail will work, and that would be OAuth-enabled status updates.

  3. movies Says:

    significant added feature is going to be hard to re-code within Facebook, and the finer privacy options allow far more type of interactions, including web-scrapable. Twitter might win in the long tail


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