Sometimes, I regard Twitter as the younger, lesser brother of Facebook. The black sheep of the family, so to speak. Whereas Facebook allows me to post status updates, pictures, check out fan pages for exclusive offers and promotions, and other useful, visual information, Twitter simply provides text updates and links.
But because it is also relatively distraction free, Twitter allows us to express our opinions, what we’re doing or even pose a lingering question in simple, 140-character Tweets.
And often, those short bursts of information can result in things that are far more useful than any photo or status update that could be provided in Facebook.
Just recently, I talked about how food carts often market their locations using Twitter. Because of Twitter’s instantaneous nature, followers are immediately aware of what it is you are trying to convey as a person or as a business. Sure, you can do the same thing on Facebook, but because of all of the other distractions, users are significantly less likely to respond.
In other instances, Twitter allows users to outsource questions or scenarios to their followers, in hopes of finding suitable solutions. In most cases, this can result in a few excellent suggestions for great local places to eat Chinese food, tips on how to fix your recent check engine light and could possibly even turn you onto a new hobby or website that you had never heard of.
Twitter then becomes a utility in that sense. Instead of being simply a way to communicate with others, it becomes a solution platform. Whether those solutions are simply finding customers for a roaming food truck, or fixing a squeaky door hinge, Twitter stands as a way to simplify the frequent annoyances in life.
And even the US Government has begun to take notice. Just recently, President Obama held a Twitter town hall in which he, with the aid of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, fielded questions marked with the #askobama hashtag. All in all, over 150,000 questions were asked from a wide range of topics. Not only were most of the questions extremely well thought out, they also allowed for the president to respond to them in a much more efficient manner than most press events. He could simply move from one question to the next without any substantial pauses in between.
Now, I must refer to a question that Techcrunch writer MG Siegler alluded to in a recent post, “remember when Twitter was a joke?” Yes, I really do. Still, Twitter doesn’t have nearly the same level of engagement or usage as Facebook. But no longer is it a joke.
And as for worldwide impact? Let me know when Facebook is credited with influencing a revolution in the Middle East, or when Facebook is utilized by the president to field an open-source town hall. Until then, Twitter (at least for now) has definitely gained the upper hand in the unique ways it has an impact on an individual’s everyday life. But you never know. A Facebook revolution might be around the corner, too.
How have you used Twitter to find alternative solutions to problems?
Source: MSM DesignZ, Inc. is a Westchester social media company based in NY specializing in advertising, web and graphic design, and SEO.