Twitter vs Facebook is the battle of giants in the social network world. It’s difficult to compare the two websites and decide which one is ultimately a vector for the Internet’s future, due to their inherently different roles in the impossibly complex system of Internet pages. They each became online icons that cover a different niche in your needs and that can be considered the main reason why both of them survived, with neither engulfing the other. What are their strong and weak points, and how do we determine which business is better than the other?
1. Facebook has more features
It’s not the just the two and a half years head start that Facebook’s logo has over Twitter’s. It’s also the fact that Facebook always aimed to become an all-encompassing product, going beyond the basic pokes and friend’s feed. Of course, it managed to accomplish its integration aims with various levels of success. Facebook is still the main instrument for those who want to organize events, particularly unofficial or small scale ones, like house parties or local concerts. It also has the instant chat feature that, alongside Google Hangouts, basically killed the need for an IM client like MSN or Yahoo! Messengers. Add to that the option to sync a permanent photo collection that you can choose who to share it with, the plethora of apps that are available and the “group” option, which pretty much made mailing lists obsolete. Hence, you can see why people find it so difficult to disconnect from Facebook, even when they declare their intentions in doing so, with Facebook’s management going all the way to integrate every possible online need into one product.
2. Twitter has less features (and that’s a good thing)
Twitter is keeping it simple and, although it is possible to have most of the Facebook options through third parties (the possibility of posting status updates by linking to YouTube videos, photo websites etc.) that is not and was never the point, the main appeal being still the ability to communicate small messages to large crowds. Twitter clicks much better with the millennial crowd, which know that less buttons on a device is a good thing and that it’s the freedom to use those buttons the way you want that makes or breaks a product.
3. Twitter is for new friends, Facebook is for the old ones
“Facebook is for connecting with the people you went to school with and Twitter is for people you wished you had gone to school with” they say. But the use of the word “friend” for other accounts you are connected to is not incidental. Facebook is much more a medium through which to keep contact and send messages to people you have already met, while Twitter rather enables us to follow people that you will never meet in person. In the Twitter vs Facebook debate, Twitter is the one that a fan of privacy would rather use. Twitter gives the opportunity to connect with people that you would not be connecting with in everyday life, and less of an emphasis on using a real name makes it easier to keep your Internet persona separate from your physical world.
4. Facebook can be overwhelming and is turning into a corporate playground
An Internet adage decrees that the reason Facebook is losing its young users is because “young people see Facebook the way adults see LinkedIn”. The fact that your mum, your teacher and your future (or current) boss are buying into Facebook pushed many of its users, particularly the all-important teenage demographic to other social network solutions, like Snapchat, Tumblr and Twitter. Furthermore, Facebook has become such an obvious way of reaching audiences for companies that the ads, the deceiving apps and the constant asking for likes can get quite tiresome.
5. Both of their future is uncertain
While both Twitter and Facebook continue to increase the number of users who login every day, recent studies are finding that the rate at which new users are joining in is going down and has been doing so for a while. The best guess is that some sort of social network peak has been reached for both services, which might announce the end of the Twitter vs Facebook era, with a new generation looming on the horizon.