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It's Very Sorta Twitter (Facebook, That Is)

By - March 16, 2009

fbook = twitter.png

I just logged into Facebook for the first time since The Change.

And I have to say, it’s totally a Twitter experience. Except…that’s not why I am going to Facebook. I find myself wanting all the simplicity and tools of Twitter, and they are not there. (Except I like the threaded conversations, which are nice, however, I wonder if and how folks know you’ve “replied?”). As a heavy Twitter user, I find the experience a bit…lacking.

However, I have said this over and over and will say it again – I am NOT a typical Facebook (or even Twitter) user, so I cannot judge. What do you all think?


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17 thoughts on “It's Very Sorta Twitter (Facebook, That Is)

  1. Rob says:

    Funny I said this exact same thing after I logged into for the first time since ‘the change’. However I still enjoy the larger ‘realm’ of Facebook … for now. (but I’ve only been twittering for a couple weeks)

  2. I really liked the Facebook stream sans profile icons next to each entry. It was really easy to skim and there was already enough media in the entry itself.

    I think it is because having just the name on Facebook had always been sufficient for me – I follow fewer people there than on Twitter so I don’t need an icon to jog my memory. Perhaps this move means that they want you to extend your network far beyond just circle of friends (which is currently more true of Twitter).

    Who knows. I’m sure I’ll get used to it like I did the last redesign. :)

  3. Musica says:

    the “key” word in your post is “typical”

    I don’t see twitter being adopted by typical people just for posting status updates that mean nothing to others. It’s a cool simple tool for bloggers to break the news that’s why it’s so loved by them

  4. John, folks know you’ve replied to someone’s status because both:

    a) Facebook (by default) sends a notification email

    b) The bottom right “chat” icon will say so

    I think this is much cleaner and more conversational than the older facebook. But it does lack the simple appeal of twitter.

  5. Charles Lau says:

    at first, i was quite lost with the usage of facebook which is quite similar to twitter.

    However, it’s actually much more sophisticated than twitter.
    It’s definitely more than 140 characters you can type. You can share a url with some preview picture too. The url can even embed video inside facebook which makes the whole experience better.
    Almost everything can be commented. And we are notified via email about it. So it’s quite easy to know.

  6. Camille says:

    I hate it. On the day of the change I posted in my status ” if facebook is twitter, who will be facebook? i dont feel like i’m really getting what i signed up for anymore.” I live in a small village near the Alps; Twitter is not really something that fits into my slow lifestyle and I am just not interested in it. If I lived back in NYC, I’d do Twitter and have a handheld, but if I lived back in NYC I might not have joined Facebook. I bowed to the pressure of FB because I live so far away that I wanted to keep in touch with friends and know what they’re up to. However, I don’t think I need to know what they are up to every second of the day…
    The change won’t drive me away from Facebook, but I am definitely not thrilled with this direction.

  7. Karen says:

    Drove me to twitter. With Tweetdeck, I have both the updates and twitter going on…upside is that I don’t have to see only the updates that Facebook “allows” me to see – I get to see all the updates.

  8. I am quite lost so far, but I am trying to convince myself if its better.
    More than that, but ironaically it convinced me to start to use Twitter.

  9. Jose Luiz says:

    Since I’m not a regular Facebook user, that won’t make any difference to me. Actually, I had activated a Twitter app on Facebook a time ago and it was exactly the same. Copy #FAIL ahah!

  10. DScibetta says:

    Bottom line – You said it, facebook is NOT twitter and I (as well as my friends) feel that the new version is lacking!! I am personally, not a fan of the layout, the threaded conversations, or the minimal setting options. Finally, I am definitely NOT a fan of FB changing their layout and policies every 2 months.

  11. flo says:

    Everybody is complaining about the new fb hp being not twitter, but that’s exactly why it’s better.
    Personally I never got the appeal of “following” total strangers. I have an account there (mostly dormant) but still now and then I get messages like “XY is following you on twitter” uh, talk about creepy, there are no updates to speak of to this account, it doesn’t use my real name, nor anything else interesting, so they’re either weird advertisement twitter people or creepy. On facebook I’m at least 95 % or more only connected to people I know.
    So this makes the whole “sharing experience” much better. Also, for ppl who don’t want “realtime” it’s not like you can’t use it for normal status updates. Also the sharing functionality, is really awesome, give it any webpage, it will atumatically select the photo it thinks you want to go along with it, or you can choose another one with the arrows underneath the photo. awesome. So, personally, I’m much more likely to use fb more because of this, not switch to twitter or use it less. Also fb’s privacy options outrank twitter’s by far I think.

  12. Ole Eichhorn says:

    Unlike many of you [apparently] I was/am a Facebook user but not a Twitter user. And I don’t like the changes at all. If I want to Tweet or be Tweeted, I’ll use Twitter. Facebook used to show me more information about my friends, static information rather than dynamic. Now it is down to just showing me what my friends are doing *now*, and that isn’t as interesting to me. Net net I think this was a mistake, Twitter already exists and Facebook shouldn’t try to be Twitter, they should keep being Facebook.

  13. While it sounds like a good move from Facebook’s point of view, it isn’t the same for its users. I don’t remember using the site for anything but to stay in touch with friends and family. They are making it into something that the site isn’t. For instance, from being a college only site, it became a site for anyone, then now opening up the profile, they are copying twitter’s “openness.” If this keeps continuing, I am sure users will start dropping. They are ignoring their average users.

    Take a look at the comments, you’ll know what i mean:

    http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=60186587130

  14. Jenny says:

    Why Twitter feeds are better than Facebook feeds:
    – Bias towards content
    – Follow interesting strangers
    celebrities, thought leaders
    – Unfollowing accepted –> easy to keep feed relevant.

    Why Facebook feeds are better than Twitter feeds:
    – Keep tabs on wider group of friends (breaks down when # friends too high)
    – Richer functionality: threading, embedded videos, link information.

    Facebook now allows you to filter your feed by any grouping of friends you define, fixing what’s been one of my biggest frustrations and a lot of what drove me to Twitter recently. So much less junk.

    Pages (where you can fan someone) allow you to get updates in your feed from people who aren’t your friends. So now you can follow interesting strangers on facebook too.

    Facebook’s status update window now reads “what’s on your mind?” – a subtle way to shift status towards content IMO (twitter oddly, still says “what are you doing?”).

    Net/net: my “why twitter is better” argument just got a lot weaker.

  15. Lance Walker says:

    Only been on twitter a few weeks and I have to say I view them as two different things and would like them to stay that way – I wish FB wouldn’t try to be like twitter. I mildly don’t like the redesign visually (larger type, rounded corner photos) but I also feel something of the depth of experience has been lost. I’m not doing too well with the words, but Chris William summed it up very nicely here http://tinyurl.com/d6kq63. Had a lot of “aha that’s what’s wrong” moments while reading this.

  16. xSiteable says:

    I do agree with Lance and others here… FB is more user friendly in my mind – as I know immediately (email, notifications within FB, home page feed) when friends/contacts communicate or post photos, videos, links and other interesting info.

    I’m still learning about Twitter – but the stream of information is seemingly endless and there seems to be no notification of an @reply – I have to consciously check this?

    Each has a purpose and I’m even considering severing the connection I recently installed between Twitter / Facebook.

  17. Chris says:

    Nice job with your “Coke II” Facebook