free html hit counter Thinking Out Loud: FB Connect - John Battelle's Search Blog

Thinking Out Loud: FB Connect

By - January 22, 2009

Or perhaps I should say, lazywebbing out loud. I have been thinking about the connection between Twitter and Facebook (many folks, including myself, have noticed how once Twitter updates your status, comments increase in Facebook, but it’s a one way experience). In short, Twitter is a Facebook application, but Facebook is not a Twitter application. It should be. But will FB Connect be enough to make it so? Sure, I know you can import your social graph and profile info, but can you import comments on status? IT’d be cool if you could. And what can you do with the data? Has Twitter taken a stance on FBConnect? Is it going to build it in? Should it? I’m running to my last set of meetings in NYC this morning and will check in on this thread before hitting the airport. I think there’s something in there worth picking apart….

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13 thoughts on “Thinking Out Loud: FB Connect

  1. Zack Perry says:

    The one thing I’ve been thinking about recently around these to is there truly is no difference between twitter and facebook’s status update section. If anything facebook’s status update is probably a bit more organized at least to the point you can follow a conversation.

    Both need more exploration into how we manage these features.

  2. Neal Wiser says:

    I tried the Twitter app on FB, but immediately removed it. For me, both channels serve different audiences and every Tweet, post or comment is not relevant to each venue. If there’s a tool that lets me select which venue to post Each Individual Tweet/Comment on, let me know.

    Hope this helps,


  3. nmw says:

    No, John: You’ve got it ALL WRONG.

    Twitter is English, and FaceBook.COM is an M$ app.

    That’s all you really need: All You Need is Words (not any other “applications”).

    See also:

    🙂 nmw

  4. I don’t know the answers, but would not overlook cultural differences. Twitter is just different, it’s more blogging than IM. While facebook status messages is IM imho.

  5. @ Neal Wiser

    I agree. Not the same audience. And where there is overlap, it’s in a different context. Also, my Tweets have more in common with my “Post Link” posts on Facebook than they do with my status.


  6. ttnet says:

    Now let’s take it “a step further”: what do words like “freedom”, “democracy”, etc. mean in Africa, Asia, Europe, etc.? Do they mean something different than those terms in the United States? What about “download”, or “movie”? Is there such a thing as a “community of artists”? Would such a community know national boundaries? Would such a community be focused / targeted / restricted enough to “meet up” face to face? Would it be necessary to meet up face to face?

  7. [[Neo]] says:

    It all depends on who your audience is in the first place. I’m willing to be everyone that commented before me, including the author, are bloggers, that use Twitter as a venue to disperse their blog postings – thus, updating facebook status with a tweet about your latest blog does not make sense.

    However, the original users of Twitter didn’t use it to promote their blog, it *was* their blog…a 140 character about what they were doing – i.e. a status update. The two are one in the same, in their original intents and purposes. It wasn’t until people started using it as a promotions tool that the dichotomy arose.

  8. JG says:

    Sounds like you just listened to the most recent Gillmor Gang?

  9. Twitter was a Facebook Connect Social Distribution launch partner at the F8 conference on July 23, 2008. Twitter was also listed as a MySpace Data Availability partner back in May 2008. Twitter has not yet implemented either program.

    The Twitter application for Facebook lets a Twitter member associate their Twitter ID with a Facebook ID. You’re connecting John Battelle on Facebook (user 507191819) with John Battelle on Twitter (user 14600116). Twitter builds up a listing of Facebook user accounts who also have Twitter accounts during this process and could use such a list to bring over replies from Facebook status updates.

    Twitter also has a database of e-mail addresses for all of its members. Twitter can ask Facebook if any account is associated with a given e-mail address and therefore map accounts between the two services.

    From a technical and user expectations standpoint I want to associate any comment made on your Twitter status message from a member of another site can be mapped back to the Twitter account structure.

  10. I update my Facebook status with my Twitter updates and have found that it has generated some good discussions on Facebook. But as you have highlighted it is one way which is not ideal.

    I predominantly have a different set of people on Facebook than Twitter, so find that sharing the status works well for invigorating discussion. It would however be nice to be having one conversation, and not conversations independently on each platform.

    The thread based approach of comments on Facebook aids in providing more structure that Twitter could benefit from, and for conversations to nicely span across both platforms, I think this needs to be addressed.

  11. I do find it annoying that my Facebook updates aren’t linked to Twitter but my Twitter updates end up on Facebook. I would like it to be symmetric.

    In some ways I think of my Twitter feed as a sort of running log of what I’m doing, so when I realized that my Facebook updates were not ending up on Twitter, I felt cheated.

    There is a big advantage to Facebook in the sense that only your friends can see your updates. You might say different things to different audiences.

    I recently started using so my blog updates will show up in Twitter (and also Facebook). Having all these things related would be very nice. I suppose that’s the power of FriendFeed.

  12. nmw says:

    LOL @ttnet — is it “aDSL” in TR (aka Turkish), too?

    ;D nmw

  13. From a technical perspective (I’ve developed applications for both Twitter and Facebook), the challenge is that the “status updates” part of Facebook is not available comprehensively via the API.

    So, although an application can use the Facebook API to post status updates, there’s currently no way to retrieve the updates for a given user. This is severely limiting what can be done in terms of Facebook/Twitter integration.

    It’s also why you have so many more creative, interesting apps for twitter. Just better data available.