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Is Twitter turning into Facebook?

Web Bureau

13 December 2011 by Web Bureau

Where once we saw Twitter set itself apart from Facebook as an information network rather than a social network, recent updates to the model indicate the contrary.

As social media platforms continue to evolve, they often appear to take the good features from each other’s models and integrate them into their own offering. The following features in particular illustrate that Twitter is attempting to challenge Facebook’s supremacy by becoming more like Facebook!

Profile Pages

In terms of design, Twitter has started to look a lot more like Facebook since the recent launch of its new design. With the addition of video and photo sharing features within every user’s profile, Twitter is moving closer to the ‘profile page’ style which exists within Facebook and Google Plus, and further away from its original information network model, where a user’s page was primarily a list of tweets. User information such as favourites, lists and images now appear in the upper left-hand side of the page, similar to Facebook.

Brand Pages

Previously there was no real distinction between a brand’s Twitter page and an individual’s personal page – both were places where content could be pushed into their followers’ streams but neither had a particularly strong identity.  The recent update provides Marketers with an opportunity to customise headers to make their logos and taglines more prominent and feature a particular tweet of their choice at the top of their page, where it will remain and automatically expand, perhaps revealing a photo or video without any action required by your followers to access the expanded content.

News Feeds

Twitter’s 140 character tweet restriction may have restricted engagement to some extent in the past, but this has been counteracted by the introduction of a new ‘Activity Feed’ in August, allowing users to monitor their followers’ interactions with other Twitter users. This strongly resembles the Facebook model, where conversations between friends are visible via the comments which appear in a list below the original statement.

Twitter users can view media and conversations associated with tweets in the sidebar but by clicking on the conversation, the content can be inserted directly into your feed.

Discovering Connections

Facebook will update you when your friends become friends with other people, making it easy for you to increase your own network by also adding friends that you have in common.  Similarly, Twitter now tells you what your connections are retweeting and who they are following via their new activity stream, located within the ‘Discover’ tab. 

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