Talking tech since 2003

This past Wednesday Facebook released their latest redesign into the wild. While the reactions have been mixed amongst users, my reaction is this: “could you rip off Twitter anymore?” – I mean seriously, if you remove the outer parts of the page it literally is a twitter clone. See screen shot below (screen shots courtesy of Mandy): twitterfacebook

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery so if that is the case then props to Twitter. Facebook is still much larger than Twitter, but, Twitter is showing enormous growth. Even the mainstream media is picking up on Twitter and plugging it religiously on television programs.

Has Facebook taken notice of this growth?  Even Mark Zuckerberg has a twitter.  There has been a lot of talk and speculation of Twitter’s business model and where they are looking to go in the future – real-time search engine – perhaps?  Unless a twitter user sets their tweets as private they are able to freely read and searched by anyone.  The same cannot be said about Facebook.  Typically in order to view someones live feed/news feed you need to be their friend.  I guess the question is which is more useful in terms of business models.

Let’s take a look…

Facebook’s business model is heavily reliant on targeted advertising within users profiles within a closed network (typically).

Twitter on the other hand has a couple options for a business model(s).

  1. Targeted keyword-based advertising within search results.
  2. Sell enterprise versions of Twitter (Twitter servers) – think Google Enterprise/Mini for your company but with Twitter.
  3. Sell suggested users to follow for brand new users.

I personally think Twitter’s options are better and far more realistic in the long run.  If Twitter is able to keep up it’s growth rate they definitely have something great going for them.

Their search is highly useful for finding the latest breaking news and information.  Additionally, it’s completely real-time and will update on the fly when someone tweets the keywords you searched.  The indexing time is quicker than Google’s and also doesn’t require a website to get the information out, therefore, people who wouldn’t be able to share information/news otherwise now can using Twitter.

As for selling slots to people to become suggested users to follow it may be a viable way to generate revenue as well.  Twitter is definitely a powerful way to send traffic to your website.  The more a trend like that continues, the more willing people will be to pay money to secure more followers because the ROI (return on investment) is definitely there.

So where is Facebook in all this?  Nowhere that I can see.  Facebook is really no more than a social network for you and your friends.  Twitter on the other hand is a platform and there is definitely a difference.

What do you think?  Leave a comment!

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