Perhaps since its inception, Facebook has been the social network – it’s what people associate (and find synonymous) with social networking, it has over a billion users, and it gobbles up most of our time.
Or to put it more crudely, Facebook is the blackhole of internet usage – in goes our free time, and out comes… photos of cats?
And that’s where my appreciation of Facebook falls off a sharp cliff. While I am absolutely impressed by the sheer amount of information and usage that people put into the ubiquitous social network, I’m simultaneously saddened by the number of useless status updates (but let’s be honest, who hasn’t sent one of those?) that I typically find peppered throughout my news feed. Sure, I opted-in to their updates by friending them, but where’s the line drawn? Why can’t I just reclaim my feed?
And that’s part of the reason why I’m moving onto Twitter, and focusing most of my attention away from Facebook (I know, this isn’t groundbreaking stuff). Twitter – for both information and even authentic conversation – is just better, and here’s why.
Twitter Is More Conducive Towards Conversation
I know I’ve argued this point before, but it bears repeating: As it relates to conversations, Twitter is simply better. It’s not magical or anything – Twitter doesn’t automatically help you find everything that might be relevant to you (although it certainly does help at times), but it does present all of the information that you sign-up for in real-time. Which means that one moment you might be hearing about breaking news regarding a topic in the Middle East from The Economist, but in the next instance are finding one of your friends asking for help finding a local Japanese restaurant.
Facebook has that, too, certainly, but it’s more of a walled-off garden than a hodgepodge of conversation, which means that while it might be easier to find relevant conversations among your friends, when it comes to stuff from outsiders, you’re pretty much out of luck.
And that’s kind of a bummer, because I think that open conversation – having people from a diverse set of backgrounds discuss a particular topic – is part of what drives social media. Facebook isn’t the huge convention of conversations; it’s the cocktail party.
And Where People Share News That Matters
Simply put, more news outlets and influential individuals have turned to Twitter to share information to the world than anywhere else (sometimes too much information, though).
And if you look at some of the world’s biggest news stories over the years – the Hudson River plane landing, the protests in Egypt, the riots in London – a large majority of them were broken on Twitter.
That doesn’t simply speak to the power of Twitter as a social networking tool – it speaks to the power of Twitter as a central hub for all of the information that matters in the world.
So when I want to learn about what’s happening in the world – about what’s important right now – I don’t turn to Flipboard, or the NY Times, or Facebook – I turn to Twitter.
It’s amazing to think that Twitter was a tool that people simply wrote-off as ‘Facebook Lite’, or the ‘Facebook Status Update Machine’ or one of the other hundreds of nicknames that people originally gave it. I, too, definitely wrote it off as such years ago when it was just in its infancy, and when the only notable person I knew using it was Ashton Kutcher (who I don’t really care about).
But it’s gone a long way since its Ashton Kutcher days, and its evolution into a social-discover platform wasn’t just an overnight process. I firmly believe that Twitter, since its inception, has always been about enabling the flow of information, and not simply just ‘status updates’.
And whether it’s a breaking news story about a recent political sex scandal, or simply Aaron Paul (aka Jesse from Breaking Bad) hosting a Q&A, Twitter has given us greater access to celebrities, entrepreneurs, and to information as a whole more than ever before.
Which do you prefer?
Source: MSM DesignZ, Inc. is a Westchester social media company based in NY specializing in advertising, web and graphic design, and SEO.