Twitter vs. Facebook (again)

Posted: July 30, 2010 in Social Media, Webtheory

via Jesse Thomas

Twitter growth slows down while the average user follows more people but over 80% of the users still follow less than 100 people.

Interestingly this is what the economist and hypios Co-Founder Jérémie Bertrand predicted on hypios Thinking in November. Jérémie’s basic idea was that you can conceive of large parts of Twitter as a ponzi scheme for marketing where the currency is attention.

It’s a fun theoretical post with great illustrations showing that a large part of twitter might be bound to collapse once there is no more new attention pulled in.

If users follow too many other users, they can’t pay enough attention anymore and therefore twitter looses value for them.

I think that following more than 100 people is completely useless.

But if you follow so few people, doesn’t Twitter become a facebook where you would only have status-updates? Well, nearly. The essential difference remains: to follow someone on Twitter, (s)he doesn’t have to accept you as a follower (like (s)he would need to allow you to be their friend on facebook). And this has big consequences:

On facebook you see info by people you know.

On Twitter, you see info by people you are interested in.

Therefore facebook is great to keep in touch. Twitter is great to broaden your horizon.

(N.B. An earlier version of this post was published on the – now defunct? – Bigstartups.com)

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