26 April 2014

Facebook Vs Twitter

One of the most sought-after human inventions has been the social networking sites. Facebook and Twitter, among them, have been at the top of the ladder for the past 5-6 years. Some people spend hours using them, while some just spend their leisure. But the demand or the publicity has been no less regardless of the usage. Some have even started using them professionally. But are there any differences between the two? If yes, what actually are they? Which one wins the battle for the best social network? Although it seems both tantamount to each other, but it is not! Let us first peek into the history of the both.

Facebook- It was launched by Mark Zuckerberg along with his friends in February 2005. Though initially started for the students of Harvard, gradually it went on to reach the students of Boston, Ivy League colleges and Stanford. It was available to the whole world from September 2006. It went public on May 17th 2012 and was valued at $104 billion.

Twitter- It was founded by Jack Dorsey on March 21st 2006 and launched on July 5th 2006. Though was not a big hit initially, but started to expand its reach from 2009 with 2 million tweets a day in Jan 2009, 32 million tweets a day in Jan 2010, 200 million tweets a day in July 2011 and so on.

The main idea of Facebook has been “Connection”. It helps user to stay connected, reconnect with individuals whom they know offline, whereas twitter allows you to follow people regardless of knowing each other. The first and foremost attribute which we can think of, to choose between the two, is the usage.

In Facebook, we can create our personal profile, connect to people we know or we intend to know, have the facility of instant messaging (replacing the age old yahoo messenger and Google talk), post on walls, upload pictures, videos, share links etc. and also play games.
In twitter we are restricted to 140 characters messaging, but can follow anyone, get updates about celebrities, connect to people with same interests, share links, and send Direct Message.

But Facebook has always been flexible, user friendly, versatile and interesting compared to twitter which is mainly- text, text and text! In twitter profile creation, viewing accounts are easier than Facebook. You can tweet within few minutes of creating a profile. But again, Facebook needs building up friends, refine your profile etc.

Facebook has been passive and twitter- active in the form of communication. Twitter uses a hash-tag and 140 characters which were used to give a social form to SMS text, before smartphones went viral. The good thing is, it forces user to be concise yet crisp.  Hash-tags help to categorize the group we want to connect to. Where internet was restricted, people could use tweet via text or “call to tweet”.

But Facebook still has been a winner in user involvement. It boasts its 1.23 billion users as compared to twitter with 232 million users. It has certainly more relaxations for its users. For example, creating an event page or company page, compared to twitter, has been on the easier side for Facebook. It has also included hash-tags last year. One very less known fact about Facebook is the FBML (Facebook Markup Language). It enables us to create new tabs, fully unique content. Though there are some restrictions on the code, but possibilities are endless. Another interesting thing is that you can connect your blog feed to your profile which means every time you blogpost, it will automatically be shared. It saves time and helps to spread more awareness.

Privacy, which has been of paramount importance to the users, also declares Facebook as the winner. The reason is obvious. In Facebook an approval is needed to connect to the person you intend to know, whereas twitter has been more public- just follow without an approval.

Twitter is widely used as real time news service. Raw and unfiltered news can be seen on twitter, and even we get to look on to the daily lives of celebrities where the interaction is more direct than Facebook.

On professional grounds, Facebook’s mobile effort has been on the slower side as compared to that of twitter. In September 2013, Twitter had 65% of its ad revenue from mobile to that of 0% for Facebook in 2012. But Facebook is trying to recover its lost ground in mobile. A good attempt has been in acquiring Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger’s Instagram and Jann Koum’s Whatsapp.

According to a Huffington Post- “Facebook’s most common use is to keep people informed about what’s happening. It is becoming a scrapbooking site, where people archive important moments in life. Twitter focuses on speeding things up, often becoming a source in and of itself.”

For most of us Facebook, or the Digital Glue, wins the battle for social attention, whereas in information and idea zone, it is twitter at the top. Facebook is a 2-way connection compared to twitter which is much of a 1-way connection, if they don’t follow you back. To me, it seems Facebook is becoming competent with many things but not outstanding in any particular one. But for now, it still remains our most influential friend.  

  • www.mediabistro.com
  • www.infotoday.com
  • www.diffen.com


  1. Thank You!! :) Keep visiting!! :)

  2. Good 1 and thank god u let fb win if twitter won I wud hv killed u :p neways good work carry on

  3. Good 1 and thank god u let fb win if twitter won I wud hv killed u :p neways good work carry on

  4. LOL! I would have surely done that! But I should have been more on the neutral side! Anyway thanks for reading! :)


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