In the past, social media sites each came on to the scene with its own unique capability to offer users. Nowadays, it seems as if everyone is trying to be just like it’s competitor. Facebook adopting Foursquare-like features, Flickr adopting Twitter-like features, and the list goes on and on. The most obvious competitors are Facebook and Twitter. Over time the two sites have developed such similar capabilities it is making me do a double-take! The question, is who has done it better? Let the showdown begin!
1. Suggestion Features: Facebook has had the ‘Suggested Pages’ and ‘People You May Know’ features for quite some time but more recently, Twitter added its own suggestions feature. On Facebook, you mostly only friend people you know. I have found that the ‘People You May Know’ feature often provides results of people I don’t know or people I don’t know well enough to friend! On Twitter however, I don’t necessarily need to know the person to be following them. I use the ‘Who To Follow’ feature much more often since Twitter has a great formula for suggesting people with similar interests to mine. Because of my more frequent use of Twitter suggestions, I have to declare them the winner.
2. Live Stream: Twitter is known for its live stream with real-time updates. Facebook saw the potential in this and created its own version called the News Feed. Twitter’s stream allows you to get second-by-second updates of all the tweets the people you are following post. Facebook takes that a step further by updating you every second on your friends’ status, events, photos, and more. For that, I have to say Facebook is the winner for having the more informative live stream.
3. Stories: On July 21st, Facebook launched Facebook Stories. This platform allowed Facebook users from all over the world to share their stories about everything from love, and friendship, to music and politics. Twitter must have thought this was a great idea because on August 17th, Twitter launched Twitter Tales. Twitter asked dozens of users “How do you use Twitter?” and from that they published a series of inspiring articles that range from community to life. Twitter produced a number of articles while Facebook allowed users to post their own stories. On Facebook, you can also search stories by location or by topic. For these reasons, I have to deem Facebook the original storytellers and the winner!
4. Lists: Both Twitter and Facebook offer a lists feature where you can organize your friends and the people you follow into categories. On Twitter, this is a really useful tool for when you are looking for updates on specific things. Let’s say I wanted to quickly check the news and see what was going on in the world. I would go to my “News” list and get updates from @CNNBrk, @nytimes, and other news sites without any irrelevant tweets in between. On Facebook however, lists are rarely used. It’s more of a hassle than a help. Twitter would have been the clear winner… BUT Facebook’s newest feature, Groups, is a gamechanger. It takes having your friends in a list to a whole new level. Now, you can update and post things JUST to your group of friends. It is because of this, Facebook takes the prize!
Based off this analysis I would have to say that Facebook does it better. Facebook is the default, go-to social media site everyone uses. One of the reasons for that is because they know how to use the best features of their competitors and make it their own. Hats off to Facebook for winning the battle of the social networking sites!
Do you notice some sites copying others? What social media features are causing you to do a double-take? Who does it better? Share your thoughts in the comments!