Twitter v Facebook Part 3: Statefullness, Because Friendships are Forever

Twitter v Facebook Part 3: Statefullness, Because Friendships are Forever

I’ve had an idea in my head for a post for almost two months.  Essentially, I wanted to try to explain the difference between Twitter and Facebook in practical terms.  Since the idea has sat in the hopper for so long, it has evolved a life of its own.  I’ve seen new articles that both challenged and confirmed my thoughts, I have considered whether it is advantageous to be active in both Twitter and Facebook, I have written and rewritten my central premise.   What I’ve decided to do is this.  I’m going to break it up in to a multi-part post.  This is Part 3.

As you might have guessed, one of the main reasons I’m writing this set of posts is to educate people on Twitter.  I don’t think most people realize the potential enrichment to their lives that Twitter can supply.  However, not everyone has time for both Twitter and Facebook and some people SHOULD prefer Facebook.  People who are looking to connect with, keep in touch with and share with their friends and family will be very frustrated by Twitter.

Twitter provides a constant stream of short updates that (while they are stored forever) are practically not stateful.  If I am away from my phone for a few days, I go back and read the last 50-100 tweets, leaving hundreds unread.  Since Twitter doesn’t keep photo albums or much profile information, if one of the tweets I missed was a picture of my buddy’s newborn, I’ve likely missed it forever (unless he calls me on the phone and tells me to go back and look at it).  On Facebook, it becomes his profile picture or at least enters his album and I’m sure to find it again.  I can also easily find it three months later on my smartphone while I’m having dinner with a mutual acquaintance.  This statefullness of profile information and photos is the primary reason Facebook is a better pure social play then Twitter.

There are several other social features of Facebook that Twitter doesn’t replicate well:

  • Suggesting friends based on friends
  • The use of real names and pictures almost exclusively
  • Social games like Farmville provide a catalyst for communication with friends and family
  • The ability to schedule events and invite friends (this also is related to Facebook’s statefulness)

The point is, while I’m one of Twitter’s biggest supporters, it is NOT a replacement for Facebook’s social features.  If it were, it wouldn’t be as good for content.

    • I’m starting to find out that if you are away from Twitter for a brief period, you can miss alot from people you follow. That’s too much catching up to do for me. I hope people in the present and future wont be offended with me if I miss something they tweeted