When we talk of social media, first thing that comes to one’s mind is either Twitter or Facebook. It is natural to mention both these tools in same breath but the truth is these are two very different companies. At the very granular level the idea behind Facebook was to provide a platform that would connect friends, while the same behind Twitter was to connect people from all across the world who probably have not even met each other discussing global trends and concerns.
In my view both these tools differ in –
- Facebook is mostly used by people to keep themselves informed about the latest happenings and to archive important moments in their lives. On the other hand Twitter focuses on expediting things up and often become the source of such things. Both multi-national corporations and government monitor Twitter trends to get a pulse of the country. It allows them to connect to public at large.
- Facebook has more than 1.2 billion users and at least in my case all my family is there on Facebook. This makes me think before posting anything on Facebook as it may offend my family members. While, Twitter allows for some anonymity where I can hold things back that I don’t want to share with everyone.
- Moreover with reference to above point, Twitter provides access to huge amount of data of mostly honest feedback. Each tweet on or about a company was of an impact with the #hashtags specially
- I find Twitter more classy, concise and sleek when it comes to the user interface. The video and picture options it provides are collapsed within the specified timeline. It provides me all the information I need without bothering to scroll through number of unwanted posts on a cluttered Facebook page before finding what I was looking for. I believe this makes the user experience a little better on Twitter when compared to Facebook.
- Facebook to its credit has tried to imitate some of those features of Twitter, with the real-time activity feed displayed to the right of the main newsfeed. For instance it shows when someone has liked a post, or what they are listening to on Saavn music app and etc. However it is still difficult to follow an evolving news story. While, Twitter has added embedded images and other Facebook-style features in last few years, Facebook is still bombarded with a lot more varied content that makes it tricky to process a lot of information quickly.
- Twitter till now has not been cluttered with multimedia advertisements and I hope it remains the same. The promoted tweets are clearly labelled and stored on a separate server.
To conclude, I would say the model on which Facebook operates is apt for creating a network of actual friends and foster close relationships. Social networking can take up different forms, and an end user can decide on the tool/website/application that she or he prefers. There are a number of choices one has, and as promoters/marketers we must take into account all of the available social networks, rather than just focusing on ones we prefer as users.