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Twitter vs Facebook: Which one is best?

Updated on November 22, 2016
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Since completing university, Paul has worked as a bookseller; librarian; and freelance writer. Born in the UK, he now lives in Florida.

This article looks at Twitter vs Facebook, comparing and contrasting.  Both these social networking giants have huge numbers of user, and each has its own format and functionary style, but which one is the best?
This article looks at Twitter vs Facebook, comparing and contrasting. Both these social networking giants have huge numbers of user, and each has its own format and functionary style, but which one is the best? | Source

Twitter and Facebook are two of the most popular social networking sites that are used by people in the world today.

Twitter is estimated to have 200 million users posting 65 million tweets per day, and Facebook is estimated to have 600 million active members.

But what are the relative advantages and disadvantages of each website for the user?

In this article I will look at Twitter vs Facebook and explore the relative merits of each of the social networking sites.

Twitter has been nicknamed the “SMS of the internet” due to the fact that it is text based and you can only post up to 140 characters of information, which is known as “tweeting”.

Users often use Twitter to tweet brief updates of what they are doing at any one time, this is known as “microblogging”.

Facebook users create their own personal profiles and add friends, who they communicate with through messages and automatic profiles updates.

Facebook users can also join groups of users, such as people who go to the same college, or live in the same place, or become members or fans of specific people, teams, or even beliefs.

Twitter and Facebook accounts can be linked together so that posts are both tweeted on Twitter and posted on Facebook at the same time.

Facebook allows users to connect and share opinions, news, photos and videos with family and friends across the world.  It essentially allows you more depth and variety than Twitter, which generally just gives the user bite-sized pieces of info.
Facebook allows users to connect and share opinions, news, photos and videos with family and friends across the world. It essentially allows you more depth and variety than Twitter, which generally just gives the user bite-sized pieces of info. | Source

So which is best, Twitter or Facebook? I will list what I believe to be the advantages of each social networking site and give my conclusion.

Please feel free to add your own opinions in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

Advantages of Twitter over Facebook

  • It is very easy to build up social networks in Twitter as you can quickly build up “followers” (people who read your tweets) and people that you “follow”.
  • Twitter is fast moving, provided you follow a certain amount of people, the updates are constant and you need never get bored.
  • Twitter lends itself to hooking up with new people and groups as well as people that you already know.
  • Twitter can be good for finding out information such as what’s on in your local area, through following local businesses or organizations for example.

Twitter Facts

The average Twitter user has tweeted 307 times.

The typical religious leader can expect to get one retweet for every 500 followers he or she has, but a typical musician gets only one retweet for every 30,000 followers.

A typical user has 126 followers.

60% of Twitter users are female.

The countries which use Twitter most are USA, Brazil, and Japan.

50% of Twitter users log in every day.

If Twitter was a country, it would be the 12th biggest in the world.

  • Twitter is much better than Facebook for advertising specific events, products, or charities than Facebook as it is easier to reach more people quicker.
  • Twitter is good for promoting single issues or products, if necessary by setting up multiple accounts. For instance, you might have one personal Twitter account, one for the blog that you write, and one for the products that your business sells.
  • It is much easier to be anonymous on Twitter, if that is what you wish for. You can just create a nickname or pseudonym and not reveal your real name.
  • There are lots of fun Twitter apps that you can play around with.

Advantages of Facebook over Twitter

  • Facebook tends to be more private than Twitter with the culture leaning more towards people befriending people that they already know. The default setting in Twitter, however, is that anyone can read your updates.
  • It is much more easy to have meaningful discussions or debates in Facebook, with Twitter you are limited to the 140 character rule.
  • You can post photos directly in Facebook and put together galleries, whereas with Twitter you can only link to one photo at a time.
  • Facebook is more personal than Twitter as you can post biographical details about yourself, photos, your tastes in music and movies etc, whereas Twitter has much less profile space and tends to be less intimate.

Facebook Facts

The "Like" button was very nearly named the "Awesome" button by engineers when the site was first set up.

Facebook is responsible for introducing the words: "friending" and "unfriending" to the English lexicon.

In October 2012 the number of Facebook users reached one billion.

There are over one trillion posts on Facebook.

Approximately 70% of users live are outside of the USA. Australians spend the most time on the site, more than 7 hours per month on average.

  • You can generally track down old friends through Facebook easier, as people usually use their real names, and you find them through looking at friends of friends.
  • You can write longer passages of text in Facebook through the “notes” function, which gives you much more scope to express more detailed ideas in writing.
  • You can watch videos, view photos, etc on Facebook directly, without having to follow links to other websites.
  • There are lots of fun games on Facebook, such as Farmville that you can play

Conclusion

In my experience, as a tweeter, Twitter is good for promoting something such as a blog, or a product, or a news service to a lot of people, many of whom you might not know very well.

You can keep people informed of latest developments etc. but you probably aren't going to get into deep discussions with people.

As a tweet reader, Twitter is great for finding out about and keeping in touch with updates, news, services, and making new contacts with people or services.

Facebook, on the other hand, is best for keeping in contact with a relatively small amount of people, often family and friends and people that you know reasonably well.

It is not so good for meeting or reaching people you don't know already (although having said that, you do get meet friends of friends sometimes and end up befriending them), but it is excellent for reinforcing existing relationships and help to keep you in contact.

Your Opinion

Which one of the two social networking sites do you prefer?

See results

Social Media Quotes

“Social media spark a revelation that we, the people, have a voice, and through the democratization of content and ideas we can once again unite around common passions, inspire movements, and ignite change.”

― Brian Solis

“You are what you share.”

― C.W. Leadbeater

“Social media allows us to behave in ways that we are hardwired for in the first place - as humans. We can get frank recommendations from other humans instead of from faceless companies.”

― Francois Gossieaux

© 2014 Paul Goodman

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