Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Facebook vs. Twitter

I was having a conversation with someone the other day about Facebook vs. Twitter as "reach" platforms within the context of advertising. I was about to send this to them via email, but thought it might make for good blog fodder.

We were comparing how many people had become a fan of the FB "Coke" fan-page (1.4m), vs how many people had followed the TW "Coke" account (40k). My brain's been background processing this for a few days, and here's what's been bouncing around in there.
  • FB's been around longer (though I'd argue that doesn't account for the difference)
  • Becoming a fan in FB is a relatively passive operation when compared to following a user on TW. The cost to follow someone is high (their dope gets spewed into my stream). The cost of becoming a fan is low. Fan'ing is a passive statement, whereas following is more aggressive and intrusive.
  • In general, I view FB as the massive beast social network. Mark's, ironically, been genius about the sociological subtleties inherent in human behavior, and the product reflects that. While FB falters plenty, most of the functionality "just works" as you'd expect; without you even knowing it (whether or not we know it, or should, is a separate conversation). I view TW as less of a social network (oddly), and more as a literal communication medium.
  • Very few people "favorite" tweets, whereas lots of people "like" things in FB. For me this is because "favoriting" is a very strong statement when compared to "like'ing" something. I "like" things in real-life all day long, but calling something my "favorite" carries more weight, and I do it less as a result.
  • TW feels extremely public; it's like a PA system. FB feels quieter and more private (don't worry, I'm not deluding myself into thinking things I do on FB are private... I'm simply saying it "feels" more private).

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