Comparison between Twitter and Facebook

With Social Media gathering huge momentum, two of the social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc are taking over people’s lives. Facebook and Twitter are probably the most popular tools of social media and as it happens with most competing brands, there are huge discussions on which is better than the other. This blog compares the two social media sites.

How It All Began
Mark Zuckerberg along with his college roommates launched Facebook in February 2005. It first started off as a social site for Harvard students only but then expanded to include other Ivy League university students. In September 2006, it was made available to anyone who was over 13 years of age. The company went public on 17th may 2012 and was valued at $104 billion. Facebook’s user base is growing rapidly and at end of July 2014 it was about 1320 million users.
Jack Dorsey founded Twitter on March 21st 2006. It was launched on July 5th 2006. Twitter does not reveal its user base, but it had exponential growth between 2009 and 2011, with 2 million tweets a day in January 2009, 32 million tweets a day in January 2010, 90 million tweets a day in September 2010 and 200 million tweets a day in July 2011.

Purpose of use
A major difference between Facebook and Twitter emerges in their methods of communication. Facebook is, in fact, meant to be more passive. In contrast, Twitter seems a much more active form of social communication in which the way you talk to people on the social network emerges as much more conversational.
Facebook is used by members mainly to connect or reconnect with people that they know ofline. Facebook lets members create profiles , post status messages on their wall, upload photos and share links and blogs, write notes, send private messages to friends, text and video chat, and also to play games. In short it is used as a social platform as well as for entertainment. It allows users to express themselves in detail and makes it more personal since the people that we connect with are all friends and family.
Twitter allows users to post 140 character messages, or tweets, and follow the messages of other users on their Twitter feed. It is mainly used to communicate with other individuals with similar interests, regardless of whether users know one another off Twitter, and to follow updates from celebrities. Users can upload photos, share links and send private messages to people they follow.

Privacy settings
Facebook provides users the option of various kinds of privacy settings. They can have profiles that is open to everyone as well as settings that will make their profiles visible only to some friends who have been acknowledged. In addition, users can change the privacy setting on each individual post or for each individual friend. Thus Facebook is meant more for socialising with people that you know and want to socialise with.
Twitter on the other hand does not have too many options for privacy settings. It has only two privacy settings: public and private. Private messages can only be read by people who are being followed by the user. Individual messages cannot have different privacy settings, just one setting for the account.

Advertising
Facebook has ads featured on it’s website. The ads change based on customer preferences. There is a certain amount of analytics done on the browsing history of the user. Facebook sells the user profile information to various companies.
Twitter does not have any ads featured. Twitter may sell user information to other corporations.

Integration
Twitter can be integrated with Facebook such that tweets can be posted to Facebook automatically.
Facebook can also be integrated into other websites, and Facebook login details can be used to access some other sites.
Twitter widgets can be added to a website or blog and can be integrated with Instagram. Some websites allow users to sign in using Twitter.

In conclusion , Facebook and Twitter are two completely different kinds of social networking and should be used based on what kind of communication that a user is looking for.

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