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Twitter vs. Facebook

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During interviews with potential clients, I’m inevitably asked, “what is the difference between Facebook and Twitter.” I always tell them this:  It’s all about how and with whom you choose to communicate. Facebook is the extended family picnic. Twitter is a rock concert.

I thought about this a little last night before I went to bed, thus the inspiration for today’s blog post.

The differences between Twitter and facebook_logo Facebook.

Relationships

Twitter: Has “Followers“: The main difference between Twitter and Facebook is that with Twitter just about anyone can follow you. Unless you block particular Twitterers or protect your timeline, total strangers, friends, enemies, and your Great Aunt Martha can all view your Tweets. The beauty of Twitter is how you can establish relationships beyond your usual networks and mix and mingle with people you otherwise might not have met. Followers share information, links, news and more.

Facebook: Has “Friends”: Facebook is more personal. Facebook is where both old and current friends connect and your far away relatives can see what you’ve been up to. Yes, you can include folks outside of your personal network, but you don’t have to allow anyone else in, if you’re only interested in sharing with the people you know well.

Content

Twitter: 140 characters: Twitterers choose words carefully as they have to get their points across in 140 characters or less. This isn’t always as easy as one might think. As a result there’s some very creative microblogging happening out there.

Facebook: Chat away. Facebook users don’t have to be quite so choosy with their words. Plus, since Facebook caters to more personal relationships there’s lots of postcards from home.

Annoyances

Twitter: DM Spam: A pet peeve of many a-twitterer is following someone only to receive spam in return. No. We don’t want to know how you reached 10,000 people at one time. No. We don’t want to buy your ebook. And no. We don’t care to click on your affiliate links.

In all fairness: Twitter does allow us to block and report annoying spammers. Do so with gusto.

Facebook: Inappropriate ads. For some reason Facebook has inappropriate advertising that is obviously not targeted towards me. I mean, why would I, a happily married woman (it even says so in my profile) want to meet up with single females in my area?

In all fairness: Facebook does its best to ensure advertising is targeted and appropriate, even though some clunkers get through. Report innapropriate ads so Facebook can take the appropriate action.

Groups and Groupies

Twitter: Twitter Groups: Twitter groups appear on social networks such as Ning or via mailing lists, Yahoo and Google groups and websites. These groups are a terrific way to network with like-minded people and make some friends who share the same interests and ideas.

Facebook: Fan Pages and Facebook Groups: You don’t have to leave Facebook to mingle with the groups. Believe me when I tell you there are Groups for everything under the sun. Charities, websites, products and celebrities all have groups. You can even create a group centered around your blog and encourage your community to interact. Like guacamole or the television show “Lost?”  Take advatage of Facebook’s fan pages to show your support and receive updates.

Images

Twitter: Twitpic: Upload your pictures on Twitpics for all your followers to see and comment on.

Facebook: Photo Albums: Upload your pictures to your Facebook photo album for all your friends to see and comment on.

Privacy

Twitter: Protected Pages: If you don’t want Joe off the street following you on Twitter, you can request to keep all your updates protected. If someone wants to follow you, they will need your approval to do so. You may not receive as many followers as you would have had your timeline not been protected, but at least you have control over who views your Tweets.

Facebook: Protected Pages: With Facebook you approve all friends but friends of your friends can still see your comments, images and more. However, you can also request to protect your Facebook pages so that only a select few can see your images, videos, comments and more.

Both Facebook and Twitter allow for networking, sharing and relationship building. Everyone has a preference, and many of us use both.

Which do you prefer?


Feedback

5
  • Jim

    I thought we were going to have a cage match there for a minute.

  • Deb Ng

    @Jim – Maybe I can throw in MySpace, LinkedIn and Ning so we can really get ready to rumble.

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