Watch the sequence very carefully: First, Facebook changed their status feeds into a Twitter-like live stream, then they introduced their own version of real-time search, after that they acquired FriendFeed, and now they plan to launch Facebook Lite – a simplified (twitterified?) version of Facebook itself -.
Their obsession with Twitter is far beyond my comprehension! With their huge size, and continuous growth, they can’t be threatened by the increased popularity of Twitter. It probably has something to do with their strategy of biting off chuncks of every aspect of the social networking market. But the question is, do Twitter’s features really suit Facebook’s digestion system? How far should Facebook go in changing its anatomy in order to catch up with Twitter’s *cool* appeal?
Broadcast vs. Feed
Facebook is for feeds – mostly friends’ feeds -, Twitter is for broadcast; this is a core and fundamental difference that defines the nature of both services. You log on to Facebook in order to check out your friends’ activities and connect with them, while on Twitter you log on in order to say something, broadcast it, and promote it to the world. It is not common to add people who you don’t know over Facebook, but it is very common to follow and be followed by people you have never met in your life on Twitter and start some conversations with them. Facebook friends are also limited in number; you can only add up to 5000 friends, which limits the broadcasting capabilities for those trying to reach more people, unlike Twitter, where there is no limit whatsoever. In my opinion, even though many companies and celebrities find Facebook’s fan pages useful, I don’t think it gives Facebook a business and marketing value as Twitter does.