Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Twits hate Facebook

Of late I've noticed a strangely snobbish and superior attitude emerging amongst so called social media experts (I hasten to add most are in fact genuine social media experts!) towards Facebook.

Sure, they love their twitter and spend hours tweeting, replying and retweeting and explaining to "idiots" why Twitter is such a great resource, yet they regard Facebook as being some sort of opiate for the masses, a place where the great unwashed gather.

We've seen Scoble fall in and out of love with Facebook , and go bananas over Friend Feed (which I am slowly coming round to), but I am curious about a few Australian folk and how they approach Facebook.

@Trib (Stephen Collins) started a group for his business Acid Labs only recently. That seems odd. Stephen is, in my view, a true cutting edge social media animal, but only just got around to using Facebook for business. I started a Tom Reynolds Motoring group on Facebook last year when it became apparent that people who heard me on the radio wanted to be my Facebook friend. I do not generally accept those friend requests purely because I want Facebook to be a place where I am friends with people I know personally. That's not to say all of my Facebook friends are "real life friends" but if I knew them outside of their Facebook friend request, then that's good enough for me. Trib also seems to have his Twitter connected to his Facebook status, an issue I will address later.

And then there's @duncanriley. Recently he had to "lower" himself to reply to a Facebook email and posted (and yes, I am sure it was toungue in cheek/seeking a response) "I'm replying to an email on Facebook. I feel dirty." Duncan discovered he had many pending friend requests, FB emails and notifications. I think he softened his view, but still jokingly maintained an air of horror at getting into Facebook. Until recently, he too had his Tweets linked to Facebook : "... I've got tweets going into FB, but have to log in to reply"

Some other Facebook h8rs:

  • stilgherrian & andrewsayer RT @crispynoodles: One word: "Phew". RT: @andrewsayer Twitter Rejects $500 Million Takeover Offer From Facebook http://tr.im/1gfy (Sure it's a retweet- but he clearly supports this!)
  • cameronreilly: @pmenadue PETE! Long time no see mate. I'm playing on Facebook at the moment but it sucks. Need a realtime board.
  • kcarruthers: @JackBastide I find facebook a little dull compared to twitter, preferring the realtime view on friendfeed instead
  • fulltimecasual: I understand the power of facebook now. One snarky update = a flood of emails. Thank Christ twitter aint like that. :)

Facebook <3

  • MSpecht - Uses it for work and play.
  • SilkCharm - Does presentations on the power of FB
  • liubinskas: "On holidays and playing my dads facebook scrabble while he gets another cold beer on a hot day. Twttr feels like work... "

To really understand the Twitter snob hate for Facebook, you need only go here.

Twitter updating Facebook- just say NO.

Of course there's an app that allows your tweets to go directly into Facebook. You can establish a filter that will prevent this occurring (When I used it I simply used the @ symbol- a direct twitter message.) These filters are less than effective. Effective however, is the way you lockout your Facebook friends from Twitter. Your Twitter updates will appear to FB like you are having a great/werid/busy/sooky time but not including them. I got lots of comments on my FB stream when Twitter was connected to Facebook- and none were positive. Most ended in a ? mark.

Here's an example from @Trib.

"Stephen RT @liako Spread the word & let's build a kick-arse team that will help identify expertise in the Aussie industry: http://twtvite.com/ick9m3.via Twitter - 15:58 - Comment"

The next item in his Facebook was from FriendFeed and was the same post, just not as a status...

"WTF?" said trib's FB friends...

I'm not alone in this thought: jpoh: @reemixx i wonder the same... my facebook timeline seems pretty full with my twitter updates and i think i might be spamming my friends

JJprojects worked out how unimportant Twitter is for his clients

jprojects: @jpostman Yes Facebook is still where to reach most. This is still quite small, we all here and elsewhere forget that sometimes I think.

So, the obvious question is Why The Hate? For as long as Twitter remains an early adopter haven- complete with downtime (Fail Whale), in jokes and no monetisation, the early adopter cool crew will love it.

Facebook was never like this. When it was small it was not really an early adopter place- it was for grads. When it went mainstream it jumped right over the early adopter crew and boy do they hold grudges. Scoble thinks LOLcats will cost you a job interview, the Twitter crowd think that just being on Facebook is not far from that. It's because the "regular" folk are there- interacting, searching, commenting and unbelievably getting the most out of Facebook. That's not early adopter, that's mainstream!

Don't believe me? Watch them all get up and leave when Twitter goes mainstream (or gets ads)...

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posted by thr at 9:38 am


Blogger mspecht said...


Interesting observations & I suspect you are right to a point. I find there is a general disregard for FB in many tech circles, not just folks on Twitter.

Personally I find FB useful for a few things but the applications annoy me, which is why over the last year I have trimmed them back.

I turned off Twitter updates long ago when I got a call from a mate in Sydney at about 11pm one night. He said his FB stream was overloaded with my updates and that he felt he lived with me!

FB is important, 4 mil Australian's are using it. Just cause it is something we don't like we can't ignore. Which is why I have been playing with FriendFeed and even been setting up a MySpace account!!

1/14/2009 4:16 pm  
Blogger Laurel Papworth said...

I use my blog for depth of content - I can't blog on Facebook or Twitter. I think things through and present a *finished* article for comment on my blog.
I use Facebook for updates and links from friends. Quick notes, see how their week is panning out. Facebook is a gated community, unlike an open blog, so I keep the numbers down on Facebook (700 friends).
I use Twitter for real time (Facebook and blogging are not real time) chatter. Like IRC in the old days, I can step into the stream and step out. However if I go on holidays for a week, the updates on my blog and Facebook are still there, but it's hard to pick up an old Twitter conversation again. Twitter is not like a blog - you don't think things through first, and present a finished blog post to the community, you just chatter on.

They are all parts of a social media pie - real time or delayed, depth of content or simply links. Take a slice :)

1/14/2009 9:20 pm  
Blogger Fulltime casual said...

Hey Tom,

For me, its not an early adopters snobbery, i just prefer the simplicity of twitter to Facebook. Note that when the early adopters all declared Jaiku, Pownce, Friendfeed and Plurk the twitter killers, i ignored them, cos none had the simplicity that makes Twitter work.

But, my real life friends are on Facebook, not twitter, so its become more important to me to visit it.

1/15/2009 11:26 am  
Blogger Ian Lyons said...

I used to really like facebook until it was overrun with spam messages from apps pretending to be real human communications. I have a very low threshold for being tricked into opening a message.

Twitter gives me a lot more control for now but am desperate for the addition of tweet tagging so can manage the flow better.

1/19/2009 3:42 pm  
Anonymous Andrew said...

I was an early Twitter user, but now I've pretty much defected to Facebook. I wish it weren't so - it's not an elitist desire, simply that I think the open principles of Twitter are more my style than the gated community principles of Facebook. However, the majority of my friends are there, and Twitter simply can't be used to communicate with them. Facebook's interface is better than it used to be, while Twitter's is worse (with the loss of the SMS feed) so, on balance, it's a better transition than it would have been a year ago.

1/19/2009 9:12 pm  

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