In 2014, as the hype and newness die down, social media is increasingly something we take for granted in our daily lives. There’s a big battle going on to keep our social attention: which of these two companies will prove dominant and win?
Twitter and Facebook: Competing or completely different?
Last week, Facebook founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg used an earnings conference call to reaffirm Facebook’s grand vision, saying it was about “connecting everyone & improving the world through sharing."
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo also talks a lot about how he sees Twitter as “the global town square." On Twitter’s website, it states that its mission is “to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.”
Both visions overlap – they cater for “everyone” and are about opening up the world through sharing. However, a subtle difference in emphasis accounts for a lot of the differences in the role they play in our lives – Facebook talks about “connecting” whereas Twitter talks about “ideas and information." I think this is ultimately what makes Facebook a true social network whereas Twitter is more of an information network.
Both connection and information play valuable roles, but over time, depending on the focus of our lives, we will ultimately favor one over the other in deciding where to focus our social attention.
In the below diagram, I’ve looked at the areas where Facebook and Twitter connect and inform us, where they overlap and fulfill similar roles, and also the areas where, segment-by-segment, new competitors are challenging them both.