With Facebook’s New Page Design, Do We Really Need Twitter? – Stay N Alive

With Facebook’s New Page Design, Do We Really Need Twitter?

(Alternate Title: “Twitter: 3 Years Later and Nothing’s Changed”)

Talks of acquisition, deprecation of whitelisting, charging for API access – Twitter’s doing all they can to reduce cost and become more profitable.  It’s actually a typical story for them.  I’ve written the same post several years in a row – about 4-5 years strong and Twitter still hasn’t changed.  Yet, it seems Facebook is always changing, and they’ve been around for almost the same time.  I’ve been looking for the excuse for years now (remember when I quit Twitter, and came back?) to be able to reduce my usage on Twitter.  The fact is I’ve got almost 30,000 followers on Twitter, and it’s a great megaphone for me to get word out and share.  I’m not required to have a 2-way relationship, and people can just click “follow” and they’re immediately getting my updates in their stream.  Until recently, Facebook made that really hard – it was hard to be a brand on Facebook, follow others, and build real relationships as a brand.  However, Facebook changed that recently, when they started allowing brands to “like” other brands and Pages and follow them in a stream, just like a normal user’s account, with their new Facebook Page redesign.  Now, I can “Use Facebook as (my page)” and see other public, more anonymous, accounts just like I do on Twitter.  There really isn’t much difference!  And I get more features!

Twitter has much fewer active users (they quote in the hundreds of millions, yet when I look at my sample of that data, only 30% of Twitter’s users have more than 20 updates total!), much less engagement, and it’s much harder to organize the conversation.  Let’s add to the fact that as a brand I’ve sent numerous email requests to the company asking to advertise with no response back.  On Facebook it’s much easier to represent yourself as a brand, it’s much easier to network, and there are so many more integration points to share and get into people’s conversations!  I have weekly conversations with my Facebook account rep.  I get Insights telling me how well my posts are doing.  I have a self-serve ad interface where I can get real-time stats on how many people my ads go to.  I have accounts with hundreds of thousands of users as an audience.  I have APIs and Search APIs and Real Time APIs to all these public accounts as a developer.  I’m really starting to think, is it really worth using Twitter any more?

In an era where the competition is fierce, has more features than you do, and is more appealing to brands, where the money is, I’m afraid it might be the time to sell for Twitter.  I’ve suggested before that Twitter would end up in an acquisition and I fear if they can’t start competing faster and better, they’re going to get left out in the dust, with a lower and lower value.  I hope they can prove me wrong, that they can accomodate brands better, and start competing with the likes of Facebook, but I’m afraid Facebook’s recent move makes Twitter an even less necessary platform for brands than ever before.

Maybe I’m wrong – can you share with me why you think Twitter is still more valuable than Facebook for users, developers, and brands?  I admit I’m now out of options.

Image courtesy http://www.chaaps.com/facebook-vs-twitter.html

UPDATE: See my latest post, “How to Replace Twitter With Facebook” if you want to know how to do this.

15 thoughts on “With Facebook’s New Page Design, Do We Really Need Twitter?

  1. Simply put: Facebook is not Twitter…thought as you suggest, it tries to be. Another simple fact is that people like the simplicity of Twitter and its interface. You post a status and that's it. So what's that good for? Ah, now we come to it: digital curation of real time information. Twitter is a very valuable search engine whose results can be used by other visualization platforms in very meaningful ways not the least of which is mapping crisis information. It doesn't have the distractions that Facebook has and that is crucial. But revisiting the search thing for a moment, when I am looking for real time information during a crisis, twitter gets it to me faster and I don't have to go through Bing to do it as I am forced to with Facebook. Twitter doesn't control who I see post to my newsfeed like Facebook does in its own little proprietary way. It comes as is even with all the misunderstandings that happen (even to major news organizations). And that too is very useful…especially when it comes to mapping that information in a visual way.

  2. I'm afraid you don't understand Facebook then. The new Facebook Page design

    is also very simple. I can search it, just like I do Twitter, and get even

    richer information than I do Twitter. Also, keep in mind that for brands,

    simplicity isn't always a necessary thing. Brands are interested in the

    value of the data they're getting, not necessarily how easy it is to get it

    (although Facebook makes it pretty dang easy, especially from an API

    perspective). I suggest spending some time on Facebook and learning the

    depths of what it can give you. Also, pay attention to my next blog post

    and I'll show you how easy it is.

  3. Facebook is becoming a bloated mess of feature creep. It's also a network apart from the web, since any interaction with facebook is blocked behind a login screen. Twitter is a lightweight, open platform that's great for having conversations. One important thing you'll see between your followers on twitter and facebook is that your twitter followers are more interested in what you have to say, and having a conversation with you. facebook is more suited to big brands who just want to push their content and promotions down to the masses.

  4. Well, thank you, Jesse. I can see you have done your research very carefully on me. I am the IT/Communications Director for FHL International, Inc., a small non-profit in the Indianapolis area. And we have been using Facebook and Twitter for some time. So I understand it quite well. Our base is certainly not in the numbers that you may espouse for your Facebook account, but then we have a different purpose and are not necessarily interested in numbers. I think you have hit upon what you may have missed about our different uses: I'm interested in how all the user base is served inclusive of different demographic groups who are not necessarily led by A-lister adoption patterns. But that is a digression, from the main point. I see it as pointless to down grade Twitter in regards to Facebook. They are not the same. And they each have their place. Perhaps you can pay attention to our future use of Twitter and Facebook for visualization crisis and resource mapping using the Ushahidi platform. This is something that Robert Scoble featured quite some time ago (SwiftRiver).

  5. Jesse Stay
    RT @DaveKerpen: Seriously, we have also reached out numerous times to Twitter to advertise with no reponse, while we have $millions on FB

    This to me seems to be what is really issue that you seem to be more interested in and it isn't mine with Facebook or Twitter. We are not using them for that. Our organization is not interested in advertising or advertising dollars. Its focus is in building relationships and updating information. For us, these two platforms, Facebook and Twitter, work well each in their own right and supportive of one another. But I find that one is better for certain actions than the other for us.

  6. Again, if there is no one to pay Twitter, there is no Twitter. Note that

    Egypt is using Facebook right now more than Twitter in organizing causes and

    in revolting against Government. Facebook Pages and groups have been

    essential in that cause. Twitter, not so much. Facebook has much, much

    more valuable data than Twitter, and will build relationships at a much more

    intimate level than any other service will ever come close. With Facebook,

    you're building relationships with people's close family and friends. With

    Twitter, you're building relationships with anonymous user profiles and

    their never-met-before friends. For relationships, Twitter is horribly

    ineffective when compared to Facebook. I'm still not convinced (and note

    that I work for a non-profit as well as consult for big, for-profit brands –

    I was retweeting him – it doesn't mean I spend a ton of money in every

    case).

  7. Again, this only emphasizes how they work in different ways and are better suited for different things with some overlap. During the “Internet kill switch” that Mubarak “threw” and after Noor, the last ISP, went down, it was the engineers from Twitter, Google and the recent Google acquisition, SayNow that created “Speak to Tweet” in @72 hours. That allowed Egypt to communicate with the outside world on social media without an Internet connection. That was when Facebook was completely “down” for Egypt. (Check out the Google traffic stream for Jan 28) https://docs.google.com/presen

  8. Again, this only emphasizes how they work in different ways and are better suited for different things with some overlap. During the “Internet kill switch” that Mubarak “threw” and after Noor, the last ISP, went down, it was the engineers from Twitter, Google and the recent Google acquisition, SayNow that created “Speak to Tweet” in @72 hours. That allowed Egypt to communicate with the outside world on social media without an Internet connection. That was when Facebook was completely “down” for Egypt. (Check out the Google traffic stream for Jan 28) https://docs.google.com/presen

  9. Facebook is becoming a bloated mess of feature creep. It's also a network apart from the web, since any interaction with facebook is blocked behind a login screen. Twitter is a lightweight, open platform that's great for having conversations. One important thing you'll see between your followers on twitter and facebook is that your twitter followers are more interested in what you have to say, and having a conversation with you. facebook is more suited to big brands who just want to push their content and promotions down to the masses.

  10. Simply put: Facebook is not Twitter…thought as you suggest, it tries to be. Another simple fact is that people like the simplicity of Twitter and its interface. You post a status and that's it. So what's that good for? Ah, now we come to it: digital curation of real time information. Twitter is a very valuable search engine whose results can be used by other visualization platforms in very meaningful ways not the least of which is mapping crisis information. It doesn't have the distractions that Facebook has and that is crucial. But revisiting the search thing for a moment, when I am looking for real time information during a crisis, twitter gets it to me faster and I don't have to go through Bing to do it as I am forced to with Facebook. Twitter doesn't control who I see post to my newsfeed like Facebook does in its own little proprietary way. It comes as is even with all the misunderstandings that happen (even to major news organizations). And that too is very useful…especially when it comes to mapping that information in a visual way.

  11. The problem is Facebook and Twitter has already established themselves, and Twitter too, became grounded into their members that it's quite hard for people to neglect it for a changed Facebook design.

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