5. Popularity. The point of social media is to connect, so you’re going to look for the place with the most connections. People mock MySpace, but the real reason people switched to Facebook is that all the cool kids were doing it. Facebook used to be for college students only, building a demand that made everyone from pre-teens to retirees rush to join once it opened up. We all know the saying “What’s popular isn’t always right; what’s right isn’t always popular,” but that’s talking moral dilemmas, not fun websites. If you want to easily find old high school buddies or get a peek at your friends’ hobbies, you’ll find most of them on Facebook. If you’re looking to connect, go to where the people are. The people are at Facebook.
4. More than messages. Twitter asks you to cram your thoughts into 140 words or less. Sure, “short and sweet” has its place, but if you’re looking to be social, you want to open up and see people open up in response. Facebook has status updates, diary-like notes, photo albums, check-ins, etc. Twitter allows some of those, but all in one big stream. Facebook’s design is built for ease – you click here to see your friends’ pictures, you click there to see their political views, you post your detailed Christmas list. Folks share everything from short stories to artwork on Facebook. One of the coolest features is the Like button. No need to type about how great an article or website is. One click and your friends know. Visit a popular website and you’ll see who else digs it. Twitter allows you to send brief messages to the entire world. Facebook allows you to post a colorful summary of yourself for your friends and family to appreciate. Friends and family, mind you, not necessarily a random stranger. This brings us to the next point:
3. Privacy. Sure, Facebook has made some errors here. Occasionally privacy settings have been reset or changed – but at least they’re there! The point of Twitter is tons of user supplying little quips. You don’t have your own little hideaway. Twitter builds your identity through blurbs; Facebook builds it through a virtual scrapbook. Facebook makes it much easier to get your announcements to a mass audience, your weekend plans to a smaller audience, and your hopes and fears to your closest circle. You can make events for everyone such as your karate dojo’s grand opening. Your birthday celebration or bachelor party can be revealed to just a few, so your nose-picking cubicle neighbor doesn’t show up with a six-pack of O’Doul’s. The same goes for your status updates. Maybe you want to rant about how crazy/awesome/crazy-awesome Ron Paul is, but don’t feel like a political debate. It’s easy to post it just to like-minded friends. The same can be done with photos. You may not want your judgmental aunt to see your sexy new two-piece, but you’d love for your co-workers to grind their teeth in jealousy. A couple clicks and presto! No lectures. Sure, Twitter has private messages, but the website is designed as one big public forum, instead of a series of “e-homes.” Just like your real home, Facebook allows you to decide who stands on the porch, who gets into the front door, and who crashes for the weekend.
2. Celebrities. One touted feature of Twitter is celebrity accounts. Celebrities, or often enough their interns, post updates on their latest films, singles, weekend parties, etc. Twitter is seen as a hub for celebrities connecting with fans. Except many of those celebrities and their projects are on Facebook as well! Sure, you can follow Lady Gaga on Twitter…or you can just “friend” her Facebook page to read the same updates, as well as see photos and concert schedules. Her record label has a page, allowing you to “like” it for special offers. Heck, that’s how many local businesses get the word out – you “like” their page for special deals. Twitter isn’t meant for that. Popular things are on Facebook as well. Again, going back to #5, this is because most people are on Facebook. You can guarantee that celebrities will make themselves available there. After all, they want to stay famous.