Twitter = Simplicity; Facebook = Complexity? – Trying too much?

By Siddarth Raman

The last few months have seen quite a rise in the Facebook v/s Twitter battle. We recently showed you a few updates that facebook has incorporated to emulate the popular twitter platform – is facebook obsessed with twitter?. The story of Facebook’s failed attempts to buyout Twitter is well known and since then from vanity URLs to Fan following, Facebook seems to be doing everything it can to one-up Twitter including a possible real-time search. Comparisons aside based on popularity, Facebook might possibly never replace the growing trend that is Twitter. Our take on the reason – Simplicity.


Let’s face it – there’s one problem with Facebook – there’s just way too many things you can do. From apps ranging from quizzes to games to groups and photo sharing options, somewhere along the line – there’s too much stuff happening. Twitter is a simplistic model based on JUST one thing – status updates, that too in 140 characters. There’s a niche concept there that appeals to people’s minds. A similar concept cannot be applied to Facebook no matter how much they model their status message to match Twitter’s. There are several methods to interact via facebook, something which is impossible in Twitter. There’s a parody of the Starbucks ad where the customer is faced with so many options (there’s even an eHoW on how to order coffee). The customer / ANY average person is likely to lose it with the prospect of too many choices. A lot of people for instance often get intimidated by the facebook front-end saying “It’s too confusing”. Twitter on the other hand, seems simplistic. You put up something, people who want to see it, see it.

What a lot of brands on the Internet need is a central concept. Digg had it, Wikipedia had it, Youtube had it and Twitter now has it. Twitter is a rage with just one idea “What are you doing”. ONE thing – one activity, one catchphrase with a centralised core concept. Facebook with its canopy of “Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.” and it’s brand image as a general social networking site is doing too much. True, it is the one of the most popular social networking site around thrashing both MySpace and Orkut (though not in India). True, it’s possible that Twitter will never be as popular as facebook. But similarly, Facebook will not be able to kill Twitter by imitating its features. It’s conceivable Facebook thought of it too, but Twitter has established itself in people’s minds, eliminating that will be difficult. Hence, Facebook should stick to what it considers it core focus (?) and stop trying to compete with Twitter, and possibly not listen to people suggesting they do.

The benefit Facebook enjoys – it’s closed with better ways to enable/disable access. So what could kill Twitter? Too many people. What is a conceivable dystopian future for Twitter is that there will be too many people with thousands of status updates. Imagine you wake up one day and see over thousand tweets on your homepage. There’s only so much TweetDeck or anyother platform can do managing Twitter. With the Twitter craze proliferating like wildfire, it could just be too much of an overload leaving people screaming “Enough! – I don’t give a F*** what you’re doing!”.

One Response to “Twitter = Simplicity; Facebook = Complexity? – Trying too much?”

  1. Michael
    June 30, 2009 at 8:09 am #

    If you simplify, you simply fly!

    What a saying! It does make a difference.

    See also

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