A recent piece in CNN written by social media site mashable’s founder Peter Cashmore talked about the battle between facebook and twitter. I know titles are meant to be all controversial and stuff, but “How facebook won the web” implies a level of finality that I think is far from reality.
Certainly for now, and for the foreseeable future (which of course in this space is not far past midnight) the two (and Google too) can happily coexist, so I’m going to come over all argumentative on y’all!
1) I wish I knew who said this (and as always when I am in curator mode, rather than creator mode I would give full credit where its due), but facebook is for people you used to know while twitter is for people you want to know. In other words, the functionality of each (facebook requires a direct consensual relationship, twitter is much more passive) provides for fundamentally different end result and benefit
2) That means that each is different. Yes the facebook like button my be more trusted, but its limited to your immediate circle of friends. Thats fine, but twitter is more powerful in that tweet / retweet extends the circle of influence to a broader audience
3) I’m also not sure I fully agree that facebook’s ability to target search results and ads is such a big threat to Google. Again, they do different things. Google is about the active pursuit of information, Facebook is a much more passive platform of recommendation. True I rarely discover new stuff I wasn’t expecting when I use Google, but I don’t think that my network has the answer to every possible search query. i.e. I still need someone to organise the world’s information for me.
Of course at least in the short run, all three platforms will happily co-exist as all do very different things and in very different ways. What excites me is how they can all work together to deliver targeting and experiences that each alone can.