There’s little doubt that Facebook and Twitter are the two most popular social networks worldwide. Of course, some people tend to argue that Twitter is more of a micro-blogging service rather than a social network. IMO, the follower – following relationships in Twitter represents as good an approach for social networking as the friends – fans approach on Facebook.
Twitter came into limelight much after Facebook and has been a major revelation ever since it’s inception. Is Twitter a more effective social media tool than Facebook? Is Facebook scared of Twitter? IMO, the answers to these questions is ‘Yes’ and I’ve very good reasons to prove my point.
Ease of use
Twitter is by-far a textual social networking service. For a new user, it’s much easier to signup and start using twitter than to do the same on Facebook. Of course, Facebook is jazzier as compared to Twitter and offers support for audio and video content. However, Twitter beats Facebook hands down when it comes to user friendliness and ease of use.
I’ve come across many new users who feel lost while navigating on Facebook. Moreover, Facebook has changed the positioning of its menus and buttons way too often to my comfort.
Facebook has often been under the hammer for flouting privacy norms. While Twitter keeps privacy simple and there’s no risk of your sensitive information being exposed to others, Facebook has made a complete mess of it in the past. Periodic policy changes have often left users confused and furious on Facebook.
Twitter allows a much wider reach than Facebook which is limited to your inner circle of friends. You can follow just about anyone you want – be it your favorite politician, your favorite film star or any other celebrity. There are better chances of finding these people on Twitter as compared to Facebook. Twitter is a pure communication tool with rapid responsiveness unlike Facebook which is an amalgamation of a social network, communication tool, multimedia components and an advertising platform.
Anywhere Anytime Access
You don’t need to be logged into Twitter to get updates, you can just use one of the thousands of RSS readers or other tools available for accessing and updating your Twitter feed. Facebook is more of a web application and its best experienced by using a browser. Though there are mobile applications which provide Facebook access, the mobile experience is no match for a web-based experience.
The sheer volume of Twitter applications and third-party tools is a testimony of the popularity of its Open API. Though Facebook Connect is quiet popular as well, it’s more of a closed API with several restrictions. Further, Twitter Open API is very thin and allows development of robust and powerful applications while using minimal memory and CPU. In comparison, Facebook Connect is more taxing from a resource management perspective.
Massive Advertising Potential
Though Twitter is yet to launch it’s announced advertisement model, it has the prospects to be a game changer in online advertising. On Facebook, advertising is limited to Fan Pages. As compared to Facebook, Twitter offers more opportunities for subscription-based revenue streams.
Twitter is ‘sweet and short’ and I’m sure most people love it that way. There’s no doubt that Facebook is more glamorous, however it certainly has lessons to learn from Twitter’s phenomenal success story as an ‘Effective Social Media Network’.