Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Facebook vs. Twitter - who do you think will win?

Social media has arrived and the fallout has already started. What used to be the darling, MySpace, has now turned into the ghetto of social media and the newest darling is Twitter. In between these two is Facebook but really Facebook is winning hands down. Twitter has amazing growth but still has less unique visitors than say Classmates or The hard part of measuring Twitter is the huge audience that doesn't visit the site but instead uses Seesmic or TweetDeck or Twitterberry to keep up to date with all of their tweets.

So these new media arrivals show incredible promise for delivering instant news, highly targeted to an interested and engaged audience. When I can watch a burglary in real time using someone's webcam while they call 911 and watch the police make the arrest in their home (actually happened in Palm Beach County this year), now that's breaking news. Twitter and Facebook have turned every citizen into an instant news machine, going an being in places that CNN could only dream of being (think of the jet landing in the Hudson or the hostages in the hotel in Mumbai this time last year).

So who will win the social media audience game? My vote is for Facebook, only because I love it and use it so much and I find the total web based interface to be more user-friendly than being required to download something to manage Twitter. A colleague of mine wrote a blog post to the executives of Facebook with some "free" advice on how they can win and dominate social media. I thought you might enjoy the read.

Bottomline, some type of social media is here to stay. It is replacing phone calls, email and holiday letters across the nation, keeping families and friends connected in real time using multi-media updates. Before I tie up all of my time loading photos, videos and personal journals onto a site, I want to make sure it will be around say 6 months from now so I don't have to do it all over again. I think John Edelson, the author of the free advice article, is on to something when he recommends that Facebook allow someone to have different faces for their different relationships (one for family, one for friends, one for professional). Once they do this, then look out LinkedIn, "Faces"book will rule the social media world!

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