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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Thursday Thought: Is Twitter taking over?

When Facebook launched back in 2004, the way we socialised online changed forever...that was until 2006, when Twitter made it's way onto the scene. While Facebook currently has over double the amount of users as Twitter, that's not to say that Twitter's popularity is second best. 

At the beginning Facebook was about networking with your friends and family, sharing your latest photos and updating what you were up to with your inner community - Twitter opened us up to the world. Lines have been blurred between acquaintances where one minute we could be tweeting our BFF and the next Barack Obama. Where we become annoyed at that one person updating their Facebook status every ten minutes, we welcome their frequency on Twitter. And thanks to the 140 character limit, Facebook rants about that person's life just won't fit. 

Twitter combines our lives and what we need into one service. I can find out if my train's running late, look for job vacancies, read the ten most talked about topics in the world, have direct communication with my favourite shops and services and lastly but most importantly, I can find out about the latest news. It's becoming the norm that breaking news breaks first on Twitter which some argue could have a negative affect on journalists who chase the scoop first. I can count at least ten instances of when I've found out breaking news first from Twitter and although it originally started as a rumour or 'trending topic', I wait until respected news channels such as the BBC's Twitter to tweet about it before taking it as gospel. 

Our mindset on Twitter is also completely different to that of Facebook. Lets face it - what happens when we get a Facebook friend request of a random person we've never met? We reject it, which may seem harsh but if that same person followed us on Twitter, we probably wouldn't bat an eyelid! We probably wouldn't accept our boss on Facebook yet we'd happily follow them on Twitter. That's because, to me, Facebook is more personal. I'll write long posts to my friends, share all of my holiday snaps and upload videos of my friends and family because I know (well I hope) that that sort of information will stay between the people I know and are my 'friends'. Because my Twitter is public - I limit what I put on there. I won't put my exact location nor will I upload every photo I've ever been in, yet I tweet ten times the amount I post on Facebook. It's a weird situation and even one I'm struggling to describe but hopefully you catch my drift. 

I've definitely decreased my use and interest in Facebook, but that's not to say that I'll stop using it as as nosey as it is, I'll always want to know what my friends and family are up to. Twitter on the other hand, I am addicted to. While Facebook can at times feel cliquey  if you're not friends with that particular group of people - Twitter allows us to be friends with the world (well not quite friends but you know what I mean). 

I predict that Twitter will continue to transform the way we communicate and maybe as John Lennon said "the world will live as one." 

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