Thursday, February 11, 2010

Facebook vs Twitter?

I had my Twitter account about a month before I got a Facebook account, but after getting Facebook I am rarely on Twitter. The reason? Facebook is so much more interactive. I can read status updates, which are a lot like tweets, but I can do a lot more beyond that. On Facebook I can chat with people in real time, view photos and video content, and reply to other people's posts in a way that's directly linked to the post rather than showing up disjointedly and prefaced by a "@" symbol. I know there are a whole bunch of Twitter "add-ons" out there, but most seem to be intended for an iPhone I don't have. And then there's the unfortunate incident that happened to me the day I got Twitter. A spambot linked to me in a post - about a porn site. That's exactly what I want as part of my online professional presence, Twitter! Thank you so much! (That was sarcasm.)

So I abandoned Twitter. I will post the occasional tweet, but there are mostly virtual tumbleweeds drifting across my page. I feel like its time came and went very quickly, to be perfectly honest. It just doesn't do as much as Facebook does, nor does it offer me any control over who is associated with me and why. Facebook allows me to vet anyone who tries to link to me, and to report them as troublemakers if I don't know them at all. I guess that's the most important thing for me: Facebook allows me control.

Only a few of my non-CreComm friends are on Twitter, anyway. My friend Gareth announced, "I don't like things like character limits, especially when my ideas don't fit them in handy, bite sized pieces."

My friend Darran doesn’t have a Twitter account either. "Why? Should I?" he responded, baffled. I wonder if he, like me, doesn't see anything offered by Twitter that isn't also offered, more safely, by Facebook.

I don't have any non-CreComm female friends that use Twitter, but my friend Bryan uses both Facebook and Twitter. " I use both for different purposes: Facebook is for keeping in touch with my friends and family, a way of easily sharing photos, links, and short status updates/stories," he says.

"I use Twitter to stay on top of things that other people do; most of my Twitter viewing is Twitter feeds from people like Wil Wheaton, Jon Scalzi, and software companies. Twitter is a great way of seeing short ideas brought to life, or of gaining insight into the thoughts of creative people whose work I admire."

So Twitter is for people/things that won't add you on Facebook? Or is Facebook just a longer, more time-consuming yet more informative version of Twitter, the way a video is a longer, more time-consuming yet more informative version of a photograph?

Either way, until I find ways to make 140 characters more interesting, I will still be mostly a Facebook girl.


  1. Interesting indeed! I find blogs the most interesting of them all.

  2. Bryan has some helpful insights when it comes to figuring out how to use each platform in PR. On Facebook, interactions tend to be far more personal; on Twitter, they tend to be more about information related to things outside ourselves. The influence of actual friends takes centre stage on Facebook, whereas the influence (and reach) of strangers can be more effective on Twitter.