Twitter is ringing in the changes big time these days. First, it opted to cash-in on the popularity of FIFA 2010 World Cup by creating a dedicated Twitter site for the sporting extravaganza. Next, it startedtweaking its system in order to improve the overall stability and reduce downtimes.
And in its latest move, Twitter is improving the Friends functionality so that people can easily find and follow their friends on Facebook and connections on LinkedIn.
Twitter app for Facebook
Twitter launched a Facebook app as early as 2007 in order to let users get the best out of world’s two most popular social networking sites. The app is used by nearly 7 million users and ranks amongst the top 40 apps on Facebook.
Twitter has now modified this app to let users know which of their Facebook friends are also on Twitter. When you find friends on Twitter, it now shows a new option to find friends on Facebook. Twitter then lets you add your Facebook friends individually or all of them together in one go. Coupled with the Twitter Lists features, Twitter lets you manage your Facebook friends with great ease and there’s no explicit need to follow these friends on Twitter either. As long as they are in your list, you are associated with them on Twitter.
Facebook & Twitter – Bitter Rivals?
While many people believe that Twitter & Facebook are bitter rivals and there’s fierce competition between them. While I admit that they are strong competitors, I personally believe that they both can benefit tremendously by offering integration with each other’s capabilities.
Unfortunate as it is, Facebook has banned the Twitter app temporarily as I write this update. Twitter says that it’s not a problem at their end and clarifies
The Facebook app cannot currently access your Facebook friend list. We believe this is an issue on Facebook’s end.
Facebook says that it’s working with Twitter to resolve the issue. I’m glad to see the two social networking giants work in tandem for a good cause.
Twitter & LinkedIn Integration
It’s not just Facebook; Twitter now offers integration with world’s most popular professional networking service – LinkedIn. The Find Friends feature on Twitter now has a LinkedIn button which lets users see their LinkedIn contacts that are also on Twitter. This is especially handy for businesses as they can follow companies on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.
Third Party Integration Tools
Critics would argue that Twitter is trying to reinvent the wheel. There are several third-party tools like Ping.fm which already offer easy integration amongst leading social networks including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. While third party tools like ping.fm are great, nearly 90% social media users do not use them. They prefer to use the features that they see on the site itself so a Facebook app or a Twitter plug-in is far more preferable to using another tool altogether.
Kudos to Twitter
I’m a voracious user of all three services – I use Twitter for personal as well as professional needs, I use Facebook for keeping in touch with friends and family as well as maintaining several business Fan Pages for my professional commitments and lastly, I use LinkedIn for enhancing my professional network on a fairly regular basis. To summarize my point, the latest Twitter Enhanced Friends feature offering integration with Facebook & LinkedIn is a boon for social media addicts like me (and you!).