Thursday, 7 February 2013

Facebook v Twitter

I'm a bit of a social media geek, and would love to have more time to explore the vast range of social networking sites which are springing up all over the place. These are the sites I'm most familiar with and use most often:

- Twitter
- Facebook
- Pinterest
- Blogger
- LinkedIn
- Flickr
- YouTube

I use some of these in a personal capacity, some for work purposes, and some for both.

Twitter has to be my favourite, closely followed by Pinterest. Facebook is definitely lingering at the bottom of the list, whereas in 2007/08 I was totally obsessed with it. It actually took me a long time to get used to Twitter, whereas I became obsessed with Facebook straight away. However, once I got the hang of it and realised its appeal, I began to use Facebook less and less. So why is Twitter so much further up my list of social networking sites? In some ways it isn't a fair comparison as the two sites are largely used for different purposes, but I found that I lost interest in Facebook when I started using Twitter more. Most of my close friends are on Twitter too, and it's actually easier to communicate with them on there most of the time than it is on Facebook. Here are my reasons for preferring Twitter, please feel free to comment and disagree!

1. I consider Twitter to be much less intrusive than Facebook
My Facebook profile is totally private, to the point where you can't even find me in search results. However, I still feel very wary about sharing my information on there because Facebook keep changing their privacy settings and are increasingly becoming more commercialised and (probably) selling people's data. My Twitter profile is public so anyone can find me and follow me, and yet I embrace this openness. I obviously don't publish any of my personal information on there (such as date of birth, phone number, address) so I'm perfectly happy to share my tweets with the world, if people want to read them! Although I don't publish that information on Facebook either, I'm much more wary about who has access to my profile and my photos.

2. No petty arguments!
You don't tend to get the same level of arguments on Twitter as you do on Facebook, as the dynamics are totally different. If people do want to argue on Twitter, you can only see the tweets if you're following both profiles. Even then, the annoying tweets tend to get lost on your news feed as other people are tweeting at the same time. On Facebook, the arguments are there plainly for everyone to see, whether you're 'friends' with the other people involved in the argument or not. Why do people feel the need to argue on a social networking site? Sometimes these people actually live in the same house and are probably sitting in the same room! Talk to each other, people.

3. Twitter is a constant source of news and information
Major news stories are quite often broken on Twitter these days before they hit the news websites. People tweet live updates, tweet photos from the scene, and a lot of journalists also give their accounts via Twitter in the first instance. I never actually watch the news and rarely visit news websites. I don't need to, Twitter tells me everything I need to know! I've even passed a crime scene in the past, searched for the street name on Twitter, and found out exactly what's happened. I definitely never find out any real news from Facebook, apart from who got evicted from the Big Brother house or what the weather is like in Carmarthenshire. Obviously people tweet about these things too, but you still get some real news thrown in too as long as you're following the right people!

4. Hashtags!
Hashtags are a brilliant Twitter invention, and something Facebook will never be able to rival. You can find out who else is tweeting about a particular topic at any time, however random it might be. During big events such as the Six Nations, elections, awards and so on, you can follow the official event hashtag to find out what's going on. I quite often follow the hashtags for events without actually watching them on TV, it's just as informative and means I don't have to fiddle around with my TV aerial for hours. I can't see how this would ever work on Facebook, as it's more of a closed community in my opinion. Your content (in my case, anyway) is restricted to those who you choose to add as friends, so it doesn't give the same scope for discussion.

5. Connect with 'celebrities'
I put celebrities in inverted commas because I don't follow big celebrities such as Britney Spears or various Premier League footballers. However, I do like knowing what the Welsh rugby team are up to, so I follow a few of those. I also like following my favourite authors to get an insight into their daily lives and also to get updates on when their next books will be released. My favourite celebrity on Twitter is Tom from McFly, as you get a real insight into his personality from his tweets and he doesn't put on any airs or graces. You should definitely all follow him.

6. Sense of community 
Even though there are millions upon millions of Twitter users and tweets which can make it feel very vast, I still feel a sense of community when using Twitter. I follow a lot of people who I've never met in real life, yet I feel as if I know them and would probably get on with them straight away if we were ever to meet because we'd have some common ground. I don't get this sense of community from Facebook as it seems to be more self involved in some ways, rather than encouraging communication and discussion.

What do other people think? Which do you prefer?


  1. It will come as no surprise to you that I wholeheartedly agree! xx

    1. I only know a few people now who prefer Facebook, thankfully! x

  2. totally agree
    love your blog!!! would you be so kind as to check out my blog?
    would be an honour!!!
    thank you so much!
    lottie xxx


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