It is without a doubt that the Internet is becoming proliferated with an array of social networking sites and platforms. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ have literally generated hundreds of millions web users worldwide. Nonetheless, Facebook and Twitter currently stand as the world’s two largest social media sites.
Having a presence and following on these social media sites can have wide-sweeping ramifications for the success of business. There are a lot of similarities between Facebook and Twitter, however there are also some vast differences. Here is a comprehensive overview of the differences between Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook is the largest social media networking site to this date and has over one billion active users. The site was started by former Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg and his roommates back in 2004. Facebook allows users to connect with their family, friends, colleagues and other acquaintances. Facebook users create profiles and have the ability to upload and share a wide variety of content such as pictures, video, blog posts and other forms of common online content. Facebook also allows users to engage in other activities such as:
- Create and join discussion groups
- Play web-based, interactive games
- Join fan pages of businesses, entertainers, athletes and other celebrities
- Create invitations for events like parties, birthday celebrations, etc.
Businesses and organizations have the ability to buy sponsored ads, posts and other forms of advertising to market their products and services to the Facebook community. Businesses also have the ability to do the following:
- Create fan pages to generate online following
- Integrate Facebook application into business website
- Create and manage invitations to company-sponsored events
- Integrate unique, web-based applications into Facebook page
Twitter is a micro-blogging social media network that allows users to create small posts known as “tweets”. Users are able to create posts of up to 140 characters. Similar to Facebook’s status update, Twitter users can use tweets to update followers about their daily activities, share links to content, etc. Twitter was started back in 2006 by Jack Dorsey. It is the second largest social media platforms and has over 500 million registered users. In 2012, users generated a whopping 340 million tweets a day! Twitter users can do the following:
- Share a variety of online content with followers and non-followers like videos, pictures, links, blog posts, etc.
- Follow other twitter accounts
- Have unlimited amounts of followers
Businesses and organizations also use Twitter for a variety of reasons. Twitter is exploding in popularity with businesses primarily because it allows them to easily market their products and services, even to those who don’t have Twitter accounts. Because Twitter is a micro-blogging platform, many find its simplicity appealing. Businesses use Twitter to do the following:
- Create a serious online following
- Create and share content with followers and non-followers such as videos, pictures, blog posts, links, etc.
- Create and manage multiple Twitter accounts for various products, brands and services
Which one is better?
Many SEO and social media consultants always debate as to which site is better. In reality, each site has their own set of benefits and disadvantages. It is very common for people to have multiple social media accounts, nonetheless you will find people who are heavily active on one site and disdain another. Facebook obviously has more registered users than Twitter, but many are turned off by the site’s overwhelming advertising. For this very reason many people have turned to using Twitter and micro-blogging platforms. While Twitter might seem easier to use, one core disadvantage about the site is it’s limitation on the length of tweets.
Sebastian Webb is a professional blogger for small business websites that aim to reach their local customers and build small online communities around their brand.