Untangling Web 2.0

An aspiring information professional shedding light on the Web 2.0 phenomenon

Facebook vs Twitter – which one does it better?

on April 23, 2013

There is no doubt that mobile and smartphone devices are the future of the Web. I now see my desktop computer as inconvenient and bulky, something I definitely cannot take with me on the run to help me in my day -to-day life. Amazing isn’t it? Less than two years ago I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.

Now my smartphone is my personal assistant. It’s not just a telephone; it’s where I can connect with my friends via social media, it’s a photo album, a GPS, a games console, a study tool and a music library. But consider this – without the Internet – my smartphone is almost worthless! And with the internet it is unstoppable!

Thanks to these devices and their compatibility with the World Wide Web, we can access data and services that we rely on, anytime we want to, and we can also share that information. The sharing aspect seems to be the new deal-breaker with regards to what makes a successful Web 2.0 application.

‘Software above the level of a single device’  is the fifth of eight patterns of Web 2.0 as outlined by Tim O’ Reilly, and it basically means that your device or application shouldn’t provide just one service or function. People want to be able to do multiple things with one product, and they want to be able to share what they are doing with the world.

Facebook and Twitter are two of the largest social media applications that are in the business of sharing. My personal belief is that Facebook follows the tenets of the above pattern and utilises a lot of what the internet has to offer, while Twitter is struggling to catch up. But…I’m happy to be proved wrong!

Facebookvstwitter [Image] (n.d.). Retrieved from http://bigbellyworld.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/facebookvstwitter.jpg

Both Facebook and Twitter have been designed from the start to share data across devices, servers, and networks. On Facebook, you can share status updates, pictures, videos, game requests, pages you like, and connect with other groups and businesses. Twitter does a small minority of this, which is not enough for me ;).

Facebook thinks location aware. Not only can you check in at your exact location, get directions to a business or other location, but you can select a location and see what’s happening nearby that’s relevant to your social network. Twitter only allows you to set your location. *Sigh*.

Facebook also wins in the extend to web 2.0 devices department. Facebook acts as your address book, but also the place where you can drop someone a line, a notice board that keeps you up-to-date with events and your friends’ news. Facebook allows you to store your pictures for people to browse, play games with others, and form a study group. Talk about versatility! Twitter does not offer much here in my opinion. I like that Twitter can serve as an e-book and I can read long and interesting articles that people have shared with me, but I can’t really store anything and sharing opinions publicly on Twitter is not a seamless experience at all due to way comments are displayed.

So, share your thoughts with me! Am I on the money, or am I blind to the wonders of Twitter with regards to this week’s pattern?


12 responses to “Facebook vs Twitter – which one does it better?

  1. Dmitri says:

    I think Twitter serves the simple needs that people have – people use Twitter for less hassle and a bit more privacy maybe? Maybe it’s just to place to quickly say something that’s on your mind and that’s about it?

  2. sukhshans says:


    Facebook and Twitter on the PCs are great and it definitely got the whole social media trend started but what really made social media really accessible to everyone is the introduction of mobile devices. Checking your Facebook and Twitter on mobile feel more natural to me and in many ways easier. Facebook mobile app is good but Twitter mobile app is another story. With so many other developers developing their own version of Twitter for mobile, I feel that some Twitter clients by other developers are better or more feature rich.


  3. Maria says:

    I personally think Facebook is better. But in saying that…we all that MySpace was the ultimate until Facebook came out so…Twitter might be the same in this case in the future. But seems to me Facebook may be one of a kind offering so much so quickly and let’s be honest we are all on it 24/7 checking anything we can because it’s fun and kills time. 🙂 thumbs up to Facebook!

  4. Hi there!

    Great post! I think both Twitter and Facebook are amazing social networking sites which can really enhance any service, especially when it comes to advertising and gaining a larger customer base by allowing users to share content on their newsfeed.

    I quite like Facebook better than Twitter because you are connected to your friends and family and you don’t have a word limit (I tend to ramble in my posts hahaha). But Twitter is great for connecting with famous people, something you can’t do on Facebook! I quite like their apps for mobile devices as well, it’s super easy to use 🙂

  5. monique says:

    Good post! But I’m going to be a bit of the devil and point out some things you’ve missed. Probably because I’m an active Twitter user…

    Twitter actually lets you tag your location of tweets on your phone! It’s not exactly as customisable as Facebook, so you can’t “change” the location. I’m not entirely sure how it works, as sometimes when I’ve turned it on it’s tagged the suburb (eg. from City of London, London), while at other times it has just linked to a map and tagged the coordinates of where I am.

    It also has a “Media Gallery,” if you view all the media (photos and video) people have uploaded along with their tweets. Have a look at the ASOS (https://twitter.com/ASOS) account – you can see if off to the left.

    I would say Twitter’s less-developed(?) use of these features have to do with its micro-blogging use. Hope that’s helps you refine your comparison! 🙂

  6. bronwynsc says:

    Great post, Eve. I like the way you compare the two against ‘application above a single device’. I personally think for this pattern they are pretty similar – both allow their features to be as accessible on any device and they synchronise between devices. I think they fundamentally serve different purposes – one is a whole social networking experience and one is a short message status system. I wonder if because Twitter has less of a feature-set, that it actually allows the ‘one click peer production’ to work better than Facebook. What do you think?

  7. mattjlow says:

    We dont even use a desktop at home! Between my macbook ipad & iPhone this is all i need. Yeah I agree with you Facebook is definitely more versatile. You have highlighted the points that make Facebook a good example of this principle. I don’t really see the 2 competing head to head however I see twitter more focused on quick access to news, professional articles etc. Given the user base of Facebook it is almost impossible to compete on the same level, rather other social Web 2.0 applications focus on areas Facebook does not do so intensely. For example LinkedIn is a great example. They focus on professional connections where facebook is more broad & in my view not traditionally a site that focuses heavily on professional connections. All in all good post. Please review mine if you have time mattjlow.wordpress.com

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