In the past few weeks I’ve been asked by at least 3 different people why they should use this new “Twitter” thing they’ve heard about, rather than just updating their status on Facebook. I think it’s a pretty valid question, so I thought I’d put together some of the reasons why I use Twitter, rather than Facebook’s Status update.
- It’s Open: I’m a fan of the idea of “open” (as in open source, portable data, etc etc). Facebook is not. Twitter is. Putting my status updates through Twitter means that I can do fun things like load them into my sidebar (on the right of my blog) easily (via an RSS feed). If I updated in Facebook, those updates become useless because I can’t get them back out.
- Client Apps: I don’t want to have to go to the Facebook site all the time to update my status. I can run a Twitter client (currently DestroyTwitter or TweetDeck) on my computer and update my status in a couple of key-presses. I also have options (there’s that “open” thing coming in handy again) as far as clients go, so I can pick and choose something that I like.
- Be Part of Something Bigger: Facebook is great and all, but it’s owned and controlled by Facebook. It’s a world unto itself with an established set of protocols and expectations. Twitter is something new. It’s a new type of “web” as we know it. It’s “live” in a way that not much else is yet. I’d like to be a part of that, so that I can see what’s really going on, which brings me to…
- Search: Twitter’s search system is a whole new ball-game. It allows you to see what’s going on and what people are thinking/doing/asking now.
- Community: Twitter’s omni-directional “follow” system means that the community/network is fundamentally to Facebook’s bi-directional system. I don’t “allow” people to follow me. If they want to, they do. If they don’t, they don’t. I can reach a whole different group of people on Twitter that I am not connected to on Facebook.
- Laziness: Last but not least, I have a Facebook app installed that loads my Twitter status into FB anyway, saving me the hassle of updating both 🙂
So why do you use Twitter (or Facebook Status)? Chime in on the comments and I’ll add any good ones to the list!