Twitter vs Facebook

It’s been coming for a while now but today I have to admit it. I spend more time on Twitter and less on Facebook. And I am using both now as much on the mobile as I am on PC. The Facebook mobile application is excellent on the BlackBerry and I am uploading photos pretty much every day to the mobile site (the video application is good too). And because Twitter is so wonderfully spare in design, it’s mobile site is fantastically fast and, of course, you can still text updates. So why more on Twitter and less on Facebook?

  • Facebook applications and, in effect, spam are a pain. Enough said on this
  • I am beginning to tire of seeing holiday photos…it was fun to start with but let’s face it, most of us are lousy photographers and boredom is beating prurience
  • It’s now irritating when at my PC to go from outlook into Facebook to read emails. I am trying to get contacts back to the old fashioned email which was not really broken
  • Twitter is so minimal, clean and functional
  • People write better when they are restricted on word-count. In journalist training I was taught that my opening para’ should lead on the issue, be no more than 24 words and cover the who, what, where when and why of the story. Restriction and structure bizarrely brings out the best in human creativity and some tweets I’ve seen carry a hell of a lot of info and subtext in 140 characters. It can be haiku for the digital age . . . I am making a note now to collect good examples
  • And most stuff is just not worth more than 140 characters . . let’s get over ourselves. Some people like Stephen Fry can write monster posts because they are great writers. Most of us are not.
  • Facebook asks politely for your status update…how passive, whereas Twitter demands to know what you are doing; and so we seem to respond so much more actively to the bully
  • People are doing fun things with it . . we’ve used Twitter walls twice now at Edelman meetings and they are a brilliant (and sometimes subversive) footnote to whatever the main event is. Jeff Jarvis’ Twitcrit is another brilliant example
  • I think I will still use Facebook and the photo and video sharing remain great, but the love-affair is over

I am sure there are more reasons, but there’s my start. Am I odd in this transition? By the way, here’s my post from April last year in which I cast considerable doubt on Twitter’s attractions so what the hell do I know about anything?

PS: Just saw this post from Denis Howlett with a much more enterprise view of these things. Top read.

[tags] Twitter, Facebook [/tags]

David Brain

3 Comments

  1. Hi David,

    First of all, a belated happy new year to you. I completely agree with you on Twitter in terms of: application elegance hitting a sweet point between functionality and ‘bloat services’, limitation is innovation like SMS and adds to the services usefulness. BTW my Twitter page is http://twitter.com/r_c .

  2. “Facebook applications and, in effect, spam are a pain. Enough said on this”

    So very true, If I get ‘bitten’ by one more vampire… It is a little sad, the ‘cleaness’ of Facebook was what, to me, made it beautiful. It’s now becoming bloated to the extreme and as a result looking, and becoming, very ugly.

    On the Twitter front it’s evidently set to cost business $14billion in lost productivity see: http://blog.roam4free.ie/never-mind-what-are-twitter-costs-whats-the-cost-of-twitter/

    Not something I agree with mind…

  3. I like them both too, but I certainly use Twitter more too. I think it would be a great tool for organisations for staff to touch base – though maybe they may not always think that is such a great idea!

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