Why Is Facebook Trying To Be Twitter?

Facebook is driving me crazy.  Only a few days after I made a post talking about how Facebook differs from Twitter and why I was changing how I use the Facebook service that Facebook decides to make major changes and become more like Twitter.

The gist of my previous post was that Facebook was meant more for connecting with personal friends and family while services like Twitter and LinkedIn led themselves more to networking. That is why Facebook has the privacy controls and the limit as to the number of friends you can have.  

I also talked about how the seemingly proper way to network with the newly overhauled Facebook ‘pages’ where you can setup a Facebook presence for your business, project or personal brand and through participation in Facebook groups.

Not soon afterwords I noticed how Facebook changed their homepage to become more Twitter like.  Now today I see that Facebook is loosening privacy controls making it easier for a users personal data to be viewable to search engines and to other Facebook users.

This is starting to piss me off, especially after deleting over 200 Facebook contacts, which it really did pain me to do,  in order to align myself better with the spirit of their service.  I began reserving my Facebook personal profile for family and close personal friends only with a promise to set up a Facebook ‘page’ so that I could communicate with my FB social media contacts, colleagues and co-workers.

At this point I am sticking to that plan, but I really wish that Facebook would make up it’s fucking mind and stay true to the spirit of their service that made them one of the fastest growing websites on the planet.  Why change to emulate Twitter when supposedly Facebook grows a Twitter’s worth of new users every week?

Is it just me or is Facebook so scared of ‘the next big thing’ that they have forgotten that they are the big social network on campus, which they are….for now.

Please leave a comment telling me what you think.  I’d love to hear how you feel about Facebook’s recent changes.

131 Responses to Why Is Facebook Trying To Be Twitter?

  1. Tyson says:

    Wow, I couldn’t agree more! Facebook is where I connect with people I know. On Twitter, it’s more networking between people all around the world (I only actually know 3 of the people I’m following). So far, barely any of my friends is using the live home page as intended (to compete with Twitter). The only ones that are, are using the Twitter app to automatically update their Facebook with their tweets. Which sort of annoys me because the @replys and hashtags really have no baring in Facebook.

    I’m fine with change, that’s not my issue. My issue is how they are trying to adapt and change the purpose and functionality of Facebook to compete with what I feel is a different service.

  2. Rebecca says:

    I agree. Facebook has followed the social media trends smartly in the past to keep Facebook feeling modern. But now they are almost on the verge of imitating the hottest social media trend. I have to say I do like the new layout.. but I also like Twitter so that could be why!

  3. JC says:

    Luckily, I have limited my facebook profile to real-life friends and family from the beginning. I am not a high-profile person and see no reason in adding folks at random and call them my “friends.” On the contrary, I do understand why people elect to include random people as means of self-promotion. I can understand where you’re coming from.

    I did not like Facebook from the beginning. I joined because my best friend sent me an invite. Ever since I joined Facebook got a lot of bad press, all the reason for me to dislike it even more. I held on because it was rather a unique social network. Obviously I can no longer say that, and I predict very soon Facebook will lose its luster just like Myspace.

  4. Todd says:

    I haven’t really delved into Facebook’s new look yet. I do agree that they need to recognize who and what they are and stay within that. There’s a tendency to try to do too much, to be everything to everyone, that never works. I hope they don’t fall into that trap.

  5. djah says:

    Facebook is a social private network, and it never will be a twitter, i guess

  6. The spirit of facebook was always best represented as a lifestream, and occasional update platform, and not an instant microblog – as is with twitter. The changes have downgraded facebook’s importance to me for sure, as well as countless readers on my social media blog.

    The whole concept for facebook was to connect with people over the years, and have an inlet to their various changes and activities, as in “occasional” shout outs and “what’s up’s”. I personally have friends on facebook that I’ve known since the 3rd grade, and while it is interesting to know when they win a golf game, have a great time in Bali, or remarry, I just don’t want to know what kind of coffee they may be drinking – at this very second. And I really don’t want to let most of these friends know what I’m doing right now either.

    In the first place I have twitter already for that purpose, which BTW pi$$es me off that facebook can just bite from another website unnecessarily. In the second place – moving from “occasional” bulletin board-like updates to instant conversational updates really ignores the core purpose of the facebook experience IMO. It was the worst update of any website I have seen in a while, and a very Microsoft-y thing to do.

    What ever happened to the business acumen “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” ? Facebook fails now. Period.

  7. Mary says:

    When I started freelance writing, I made my Facebook profile private because a couple of readers who didn’t like what I had to say started looking up things about me online. They were harmless at the time, but I figured if I wanted to use Facebook to connect with close friends and family (which makes sense considering that we share a lot of our old photos there), I should just make it private. If they’re going to loosen the privacy controls, I’m not sure how I’ll modify my usage. I really don’t want to quit using it completely, but I’m definitely getting tired of the constant changes. What ever happened to sticking with what works?

  8. rebrivved says:

    I’m also disappointed by Facebook’s identity crisis. Like you, I prefer to use Facebook and Twitter to interact with different audiences and for different reasons. Sheesh!

  9. After catching my breath, and ridding myself of the alarm that accompanies change – this has been my constant stance.

    “Okay, some of this FB stuff is just “different…” Whatever, but lack of Live Feed is still WRONG! I already have a Twitter account.”

    Your take on LinkedIn with Twitter in comparison to FB merits some consideration.

    One wonders if the FB folks will figure it out.

  10. ifan says:

    The new interface is very annoying, but I can tolerate it.

    However, I found their new default privacy setting does not respect our privacy at all, and this will push me leave facebook someday.

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  12. James says:

    I’ve pretty much had it with Facebook. I don’t actively use it much, unless I’m notified of something, but I aggregate blog posts, audio scrobbles, delicious and Flickr activity, and status updates from ping.fm. So, it looks like I’m fairly active, but really it’s just the aggregator and contact capabilities for me.

    The latest changes are awful, but definitely scream of a service that’s worried about Twitter eating its lunch.

  13. Robyn says:

    I am so glad to see that someone feels the same way I do. When Facebook announced that they’d be making changes, I took a look at the screencaps of the new layout. I immediately thought (and I think said aloud even though no one else was in the room) “What the… It looks just like Twitter! What’s the point?”

  14. Lisa Gardelle says:

    Totally agree. FB is for friends, Twitter is for contacts. Don’t fix what aint broke please. I am NOT impressed with the new FB feel and feel barraged by it’s new feed now.

  15. Sergio Noronha says:

    I don’t understand this fuss. From what I understand, facebook and websites/social networks need to keep up with the web constant evolution or we, the users, will move. I don’t see myself being able to keep up with 3 or 4 profiles in diffrent networks. I started in myspace and don’t go there even once a month since I joined facebook, where I post everyday. I joined twitter a couple of months ago and still don’t go there so much as I go to facebook.
    What I mean is: any of these places are free. You don’t like it, get out!

    • The point is that Facebook is sending mixed messages as to what they are supposed to be about. Are they a website for close friends and family to socialize, as they propose, or are they a broadcast messaging service like Twitter, or are they a feed aggregater like friendfeed or…
      I’m also saying be the best at what your good at, don’t dilute the very qualities that made you so successful ..ie privacy control. As to your comment ‘if you don’t like it get out’, I always thought that cliche was reserved for drunken fathers on made for TV movies.. Guess I was wrong about that :p

  16. Jo says:

    I agree! There is no more privacy so messages sent to one person get sent to the whole network unless of course you send them a direct message which is of course like Twitter. The only thing is with Facebook you can write a whole book! Definitely good if you have a network of business colleagues but for your mates and close friends…na…not everyone wants to be reading everybody’s business, or do they? And I have read some pretty private stuff over the last few days…You’re right, they must be scared. But no need to be, they were leading the pack. Silly I say.

  17. Julie says:

    Like you, I love Twitter for its broad use and like Facebook for connecting. The last thing I want is someone to send a “facepic” of my high school years, etc. to everyone they know and beyond.

    Facebook claims to be giving more privacy; however, now your friends can post pictures of you for the whole world to see. I find it odd that people protest camera surveillance and Google Maps while they idle on FB’s merging of universal with connections.

    This inadvertently takes away privacy and adds annoyance. Facebook is not Twitter. The end.

  18. Blanca Mejia says:

    I have been using Facebook for over a year. I opened an account so I could connect with all my cousins in Colombia, then my friends.
    I have only been active with Twitter for 2 months. So it doesn’t really bother me that they changed the look. But yes, I was going to post a comment on Facebook that it looks just like Twitter, but I refrained because most of my friends on FB are not on Twitter yet. I am guessing they will though now that so many people are talking about this. So in a way it is going to make more people curious about Twitter.

  19. Liz says:

    I agree. I am not one of those people who hates change. I am all about evolving and making things better and more efficient. I have been a devoted Facebook user since 2004 and have lived through all the changes without complaining once. The last time FB made changes I was very happy that the applications which were over-crowding profiles were now under control in their very own tab.

    That being said; I HATE the new Facebook. Not only does it seem lopsided to me with waaay too much going on on the right, but the whole thing is just annoying! I don’t even want to update my status anymore because I don’t want to annoy the people on my friends list.
    I have a Twitter account, I have had it for about a year and I love it. But I still loved Facebook as well since it allows me to connect to my friends around the world. I noticed that ever since FB changed I have spent way more time on Twitter than on FB and I am pretty sure that is NOT what FB was going for.

    I also think they are scared of the “next big” thing like you said, But instead of trying to copy someone else, they should come up with new ideas to enrich what we all love about Facebook: connecting with our friends and having fun with it (without worrying about privacy issues).

  20. BobbyPens says:

    I completely agree… Facebook has been insistant on going against its original purpose: providing a way to keep in touch with friends.

    If it could have slowed its rate of change after debuting the newsfeed, Facebook might have stayed at the height of its usefulness, but the it seems set on being like everyone else. The company seems not to understand that everyone joined Facebook in the first place because it was different from other social networking sites.

  21. [...] are passing around the link to Jesse Newhart’s (justified) little rant about how Facebook is trying to be Twitter. I know this because I looked it up on Tweetmeme – goodbye [...]

  22. Gabriella says:

    Thanks Jesse for another great article… “Morphing Facebook” is an article I wrote 2 days ago. Basically Facebook needs to do what Facebook used to do best, be a social connection for students and faculty of universities, even the expansion to the mainstream business world is fine, but leave microblogging and Twitter alone.
    Facebook, our message to you is this: Be true to your followers. Leave us to tweet away on Twitter. We promise there is room in our hearts for you too – if you stay true to who you were. A place for us to create groups, play games and find long lost schoolmates.

  23. Jesse–I agree 100% & did the same thing you did–reserved FB for my friends & family and Twitter for networking & fun.

    I HATE the new FB–it’s a total Twitter wannabe. I just tweeted about it yesterday.

    Great post. Thanks!
    Heather

  24. John says:

    Cause they’re smart

  25. Shiho says:

    Thank you for explaining why Facebook’s redesign is so poorly laid out. I, too, use Facebook for keeping in touch with friends, and Twitter for discussing professional or useful information, and the Facebook redesign is not keeping core audience’s needs in mind.

    For all that’s worth, there is a vote going on within Facebook about the redesign here – note that virtually all of the comments are against the new design: http://tr.im/hud4

  26. I Hate Facebook says:

    I HATE Facebook. The founder is a condescending snob, and many users on Facebook are no different. I deleted my account and will never go back. The only reason I would consider using Facebook would be purely for promotional reasons.

    I’m done with the pokes
    Done with people tagging photos with me
    Done with wall to wall comments

    Facebook is a sewer and I’m glad to get out. Fresh air is much better than the stench of Mark Zuckerberg’s ass

  27. kamraguy says:

    I didn’t notice a change really. I was forwarding twits to facebook long before their modications.

    I guess I was ahead of the game. My page was unique, it stood out, and now it’s like everyone elses – for now.

    Still, I can appreciate a good thing and most people can’t, thank God.

  28. ephant says:

    I have only recently stopped pushing my twitter updates to my facebook status – Twitter and Facebook are different things and I want to use them in different ways for a different audience!

  29. Since everytime, I’m just about to sign up for Facebook, they go and do something like this…well, I’m still not on Facebook yet. And, I was just getting won over to the point of appreciate what FB could do that Twitter can’t.

  30. Agdm says:

    I hate that they screwed up the pages section. The fan pages were perfect now it seems like they are more focused on updates and mocroblogging.

    I guess they are trying to keep their edge.

    I knew it would happen when I shared my twitter handle with my fb peeps!g

  31. Shamontiel says:

    Facebook at one point and time tried to buy Twitter, so I’m not surprised about the new look. MySpace didn’t used to have the option of “People You May Know,” but they got that from Facebook. Websites tend to see what works on someone else’s site and add it to theirs.

  32. [...] Why Is Facebook Trying To Be Twitter? Stick to your guns facebook (tags: twitter internet blogging blog humor facebook community rant) [...]

  33. Alan Ralph says:

    I don’t mind the new UI so much, but it does annoy me a bit that things like profile changes and info changes no longer show up in the news feed. Could care less about the removal of messages about friends using FB apps, but then I’m not that heavily into FB apps apart from the ones that allow me to feed in my stuff from elsewhere (Last.fm, Friendfeed, Twitter, etc.)

  34. steph says:

    not digging the new facebook format in the least – at this rate i will probably have to delete one or the other as its pretty much the same (small) group of people

  35. Tracy says:

    I use both Twitter and Facebook, but for different purposes. I use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family, on Twitter I post a lot of links to news articles and blogs.
    I do not like the way Facebook now works. It puts everything on there. One friend sent 15 friends “gifts”, and my whole page was taken up with this person’s profile pic and what they sent each person. It’s ridiculous!

  36. Tazz602 says:

    I agree completely – I use Facebook for friends and family and past associates completely differently than I use Twitter – I don’t need constant updates in a live feed on Facebook – I don’t WANT constant updates on Facebook.

    I can’t say I’ll leave them because there really is nowhere else to go, MySpace doesn’t work for adults so much – the privacy stuff bothers me – I purposefully do not allow my profile in public search engines and I do not want that to change. If they force that on me I just might have to say good-bye.

  37. Ann says:

    Before FB changed into Twitbook, I used to post pictures and be able to enlarge them like a blog and it was great, it drew people’s attention, now all the space has been taken away so that a lot of garbage can be crammed onto the page…NOT A GOOD IDEA.

    Could somebody now come up with a new old Facebook, put it on line and call it something else…we’ll all head there then.

  38. jb107502 says:

    I completely agree. If I want to use Facebook to tweet then i will set it up that way. If not screw this I am finally going to agree with all the bitching people have been having over the years when Facebook changes something.

    P.S. I have been on Facebook since it was about 5 months old.

  39. Annie says:

    Usually the only people who would recommend me to facebook are my family and friends, not online friends. Now it seems more and more “online” invitations come in the form of network marketing.

    It’s getting all mixed up….just like a teenager.

  40. Emily says:

    I’m still mad about the change FB made about 6 months ago, so forget this one!

    FB is like a full time job. I guess I will stay on it for my friends but I have never gotten into the gifts, the tags, the favorite soda pops, etc! Ugh! Where do people find the time for that stuff?

    I’ve always loved Twitter for it’s microblogging concept and the new friends I have made.

    Twitter is Twitter and Face Book is Face Book and never the twain should have met!

  41. Donna White says:

    I am pretty frustrated with Facebook right now and have barely looked at it for the past two weeks. It was managable before as a way to connect with family, friends and some of my colleagues — people that I don’t mind seeing photos of my kids online. I don’t mind change that makes sense — and perhaps if someone is not using Twitter, these new FB apps will provide some value to them. But, I personally don’t want a lot of bleeding into each other between my Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. I haven’t quite figured out what to do — I’ll probably try to make it work with FB but I’m not enthusiastic whereas I was before. My suggestion is that FB have the “Fans” feature more like their new version but go back to something closer to the older version for the “Friends” feature. I’m pretty primed for a switch if someone offers something better. Anyway, Jesse, you pretty much summed up my thoughts.

  42. Alice says:

    i totally agree with you. Facebook and twitter haven’t similar goals. Twitter is more for networking and professionnal goals and facebook is more personnal. That’s make the difference between them. But now, facebook is trying to do something to be more like twitter. Facebook changes its homepage, the notion of profil is also modified. Where do they want to go ? I don’t know but i disagree with their changements.

  43. Sheamus says:

    I’ve always used FB for friends and family, too – people I know in ‘real life’, so to speak – and that won’t ever change. I’m a bit skeptical of anyone on there who has more than a couple of hundred friends, to be honest. People who reach the 5,000 limit (which I think they may have recently removed) aren’t really entering into the thing in the right spirit. It isn’t MySpace.

    And it isn’t Twitter. What FB is doing now is a sign of desperate times. I’m not a fan of TweetDeck’s recent FB integration and I don’t like the idea of any single aggregator for all the different social networks. Facebook and Twitter are and should be different, and thus should be treated differently. Facebook for the people you know, Twitter for the people you want to know.

    I think for a lot of folk, certainly those who engage heavily within Twitter, FB has kind of become a take on Flickr, where you visit the site simply to check out your friend’s photos. I think FB knows this, too, and hence their radical makeover. The irony here perhaps is that by attempting to emulate Twitter they’ve essentially held up a white flag, which perhaps makes many of us even less likely to embrace the service.

  44. Fish says:

    I refuse to retaliate, people are entitled to voice their own opinions, I’m just not a huge fan of “twitter” nor “facebook” for that matter. Having said that, I’m also entitled to support some of the “minorities” ideas/thoughts:

    “I don’t understand this fuss. From what I understand, facebook and websites/social networks need to keep up with the web constant evolution or we, the users, will move. I don’t see myself being able to keep up with 3 or 4 profiles in diffrent networks. I started in myspace and don’t go there even once a month since I joined facebook, where I post everyday. I joined twitter a couple of months ago and still don’t go there so much as I go to facebook.
    What I mean is: any of these places are free. You don’t like it, get out!”

    “I didn’t notice a change really. I was forwarding twits to facebook long before their modications.

    I guess I was ahead of the game. My page was unique, it stood out, and now it’s like everyone elses – for now.

    Still, I can appreciate a good thing and most people can’t, thank God.”

    “The spirit of facebook was always best represented as a lifestream, and occasional update platform, and not an instant microblog – as is with twitter.”

    “Facebook is a social private network, and it never will be a twitter”

    “Facebook is not Twitter. The end.”

  45. Ron says:

    I agree. Facebook is like a moving target and they seem to be intent on alienating as many core users as possible with each redesign. People will deal with it, but it just leaves them exposed for a service that values people’s privacy to sideswipe them.

  46. Mark says:

    I guess I’m in the relative minority of people who likes the Facebook layout. I think the “Twitter-esque” timeline oriented view makes much more sense to me. The previous layout seemed much more haphazard to me. The first 3 or 4 things were status updates, then everything else was this random mix of pictures, status updates, application notices, etc. which could be wildly out of order. I check Facebook a few times a day, so I really want to see what’s changed since I last checked it right there on the front page.

    I’m also enjoying the increased emphasis on the status updates in Facebook. I think it’s cool to know what my real-life friends are up to, or what they find interesting.

  47. Lori B says:

    I don’t get it…why is Facebook so intent on sabotaging itself trying to be something they’re not? And if they’re all for privacy, why did they do away with the user controls? If they did away with the ads in the homepage, why did they replace it with Highlights that had NOTHING to do with anything at all? If they did away with Live Feed, where the HECK can I find new updates on new friends added or new groups? And my wall? I can’t change anything! GAH!

  48. Youcef says:

    I completely agree, it is retarded and facebook’s format is too different, so I don’t think it works very well using the twitter format.

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  49. Chris Leone says:

    Facebook knows what they’re doing. They have been the innovators of social networking for years. The new layout facilitates more active communication among users while having the depth and features Twitter lacks.

    I think most people are disgruntled because it’s different. At the end of the day, the functionality hasn’t negatively changed at all.

    People will get used to it and bitch when in three updates from now, it doesn’t look like this version.

  50. eric.m.andrews says:

    A-FUCKING-MEN

    You’re retards, Mark & Co.

  51. JT says:

    Facebook had status updates before Twitter existed. I believe a better question is, “Why would someone create a website that does something facebook already does?”

  52. Ben says:

    I completely agree, I smell a certain paranoia to Facebook recently, too. Although it seems almost impossible that all their users would up and leave, we’ve seen it happen to so many other networking sites, and all at the hands of new things that were similar to the last, but very definitve in their image and function. Bebo died horribly, MySpace is a second class citizen, I think Facebook are just scared of being taken over by the new Twitter era, despite how unlikely that is. And – as saying goes – if you can’t beat them, join them.

  53. Jim H says:

    Twitter is for the brain-dead celebrity chaser. Not in the beginning, but that’s how it will be when they finally see that the business plan is selling “recommendations” to celebrities. Pretty soon, it will be as brainless as the paparazzi culture. It’s all about followers, in crowds, and high school: who’s popular, athletes or cheerleaders?

  54. Tera says:

    I agree!! I love facebook for personal stuff but sometimes it is an annoying service to use. It has its place. I like posting albums so all my friends can view etc….I love twitter as it connects me with the whole world (well, kinda)…..

  55. David H says:

    Amen to that.

  56. Ben says:

    actually, in response to my own comment, myspace is actually doing alright, though I guess it found it’s niche in music marketing. By copying Twitter, Facebook are only undoing all their work of cementing a place in peoples RSS feeds. and annoying eeeeveryone in the process.

  57. Terance says:

    Really? It’s called strategy. It’s called having a business. It’s called wanting to succeed. Facebook is trying to be Twitter. They’re trying to Facebook thats better than Twitter.

    Ever played two hand touch football in the school yard? Did you play QB sneaks or no? It’s either both sides use it or neither side does.

    Quit comparing Facebook to Twitter. Quit comparing Apple’s Iphone to RIM’s Storm, or Bold or LGs Vu, or anything.

    They’re all essentially the same thing, just trying to outdo each other, therefor, you will essentially have the same features amongst them.

    Let’s say, I open up a hotdog stand and I don’t offer condiments.
    Then a guy that opens one across the street does offer condiments.
    Well, now I know the majority of the people on this street want condiments on their hot dogs so they go across the street to the other guy! Like a real business person I need a scam or an idea to bring people back to my side of the road.. the easiest thing to do would be to equalize the playing field by getting my own stand it’s own condiments. Now everyone is pleased, and I have the upper hand because I added relish to my list of condiments and the vendor across the street did not.

    At least until he realizes that I’m now getting more business.

    See? Don’t you want to see the world advance? That’s how it happens everyone copies off of everyone and reimpliments the idea into something they feel is superior.

    What’s so hard about everyone understanding this concept???

  58. Brandon J says:

    Totally Agree…Facebook needs to stop being Twitter-like!

  59. Frank says:

    I agree. I don’t understand why Facebook decided to copy Twitter’s layout. This is the third layout by Facebook and it seems they can’t find what they are looking for. So, instead of doing something original, they copy their competition. Twitter, in my opinion is a better service, but Facebook has many positives too. I just don’t like the fact that they so obviously used Twitter’s layout for their own service.

  60. Ann says:

    The only changes I have seen are: the “what’s on your mind?” prompt, the newsfeed is separated into status updates and everything else is pushed off to the side with the ads (instead of tabbed), and it looks like you are writing on your own wall when you are actually creating a status update. My privacy settings are still the same. Just close the annoying twitter-like people’s updates if you don’t want to see that “their coffee spilled every where today” Same as before. Take a breather. Save the melodrama. Facebook is not real life unless you make it.

    That being said, I liked the article. If facebook is trying to edge more towards twitter, that started when they introduced the status feature a while ago.

  61. Spike says:

    Totally and utterly agree. Facebook couldn’t have shot itself in the foot any more effectively than they have done. It has gone from being one of the most useful tools for keeping up with my friends to a blabbering noise fest.

  62. Court says:

    Wait, I’m confused. You’re upset because you made a broad assumption about the exact nature and purpose of a system that is as complex and ever-evolving as Facebook, and that assumption was quickly proven wrong?

    If you want to use Facebook as a tool to communicate only with close friends and family, then by all means do so. They offer a ton of control over how your information is shared with the general community, so you can ultimately use it any way you wish.

  63. Scythe says:

    Facebook noticed the quick expansion of Twitter, and actually tried to buy them out. Twitter said ‘no’, and as such now Facebook is trying to compete against them. Can’t buy them out, then blow them out is the way they’re thinking.

  64. Joshua B says:

    I have to disagree. I like the convergence. If the new Facebook can replace both the old Facebook and Twitter with a unified service, I’m for that, and have no idea why others aren’t. I don’t like having to log into 3 different pages to see what is essentially the same information.

  65. george says:

    Agreed this is getting very annyoying with facebook

  66. marv says:

    Love the new facebook. It’s all about statistics, hopefully for FB’s and my own sake, I’m in the majority.

  67. Nicholas Mc says:

    Ya know, until Facebook starts turning an actual profit, expect them to throw a lot at the wall.

    There is a profitable business model for social networking….I just think that what they had may not be it. :/

  68. [...] Why Is Facebook Trying To Be Twitter? [...]

  69. John Doe says:

    This is precisely why I closed my Facebook account three days ago. No regrets looking back. My life has never been simpler.

  70. hey says:

    u got me, its cuz zuckerberg stole the idea he doesnt know what else to do but steal someone elses idea

  71. Josh says:

    I can’t tell you how much I agree with this. It is an obvious attempt at copying anything they can when it was already doing fine. Very, very annoying.

  72. The ASM says:

    Facebook is trying to be twitter so that it can emulate Twitter’s current buzz. Honestly Why isn’t Twitter trying to be more like facebook with a very robust set of features that scale and connect information as well as allows for micro-blogging. Also there is nothing fucking professional about my twitter account. and most of the people I care about also are pretty unprofessional in there twitters.

    Both Facebook and Twitter are Tools, you can’t say one is meant for personal and one is meant for professional. They are what you use them for.

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  74. juliorvarela says:

    Yeah, they missed the boat on this one. I finally had it down and now it messes it up. Great post.

  75. Candi says:

    “twitter” – root word, twit, defined as a verb meaning to poke fun at (someone); also a noun, meaning fool or idiot. Zuckerberg should think about that.

  76. Pretty much everyone in my list has had the status ‘what the hell happened to facebook?’ last week.

    My immediate thought that they also mimiced Twitter model to a great degree.

    Oh, and the site is busted for me in Chrome, and wonky in Firefox.

  77. Fb and twitter are different. I use both, and the reason is they fulfill different needs. If they are very similar, then the obvious thing to do is drop one service.
    Yes, I like the new design. Well done Fb.

  78. Jason says:

    They’ve gutted the site, ripping-out functionality. What was once unique, deep, & flexible, and good for keeping-up with friends, is evolving into a rigid and equally shallow Twitter clone.

    The new single-choice News Feed inundates everyone with trivia they didn’t have to see before, while removing the Story Types sliders that let people manage that trivia.

    At the same time they got rid of Live Feed, which provided ALL the depth that facebook offered for those who did want to receive lots of information. It’s now much harder to discover new local events, new friend connections, interesting new Groups, see when friends have changed their profile (because they gained/lost an interest/hobby/job/relationship), etc.

    And now you get everything in the most screen-space-consuming format possibly imaginable. It doesn’t help you manage information when you can barely scan through it all, while being forced to see 25 posts, each one saying “John gave XYZ a pizza”.

    For ways to get facebook to fix what they’ve messed-up, read the action steps in
    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=61010781930

  79. kat says:

    i don’t want to “twitter” on the same network where my mom is my friend. facebook was like email, but more advanced, now it’s just distracting. word.

  80. m says:

    facebook tried to buy twitter a while ago; when the deal went sour, facebook decided to integrate the twitter-style micro-blogging onto their site. please do research before you complain.

  81. [...] Why Is Facebook Trying To Be Twitter? (tags: blog humor twitter internet socialmedia blogging community facebook) [...]

  82. Facebook is not trying to be Twitter-like, not in the least bit.

    If anything, Facebook has implemented a very sleak design-feed that allows it to be able to control the feeds of user data. Soon, this could be integrated and separated into specific applications or exclusions. They could implement a clique design that can specify which friends can view what applications ( I have heard that this is in the works ).

    When that happens, people will then be able to choose the default, or be able to specify their public domain even more. Essentially, they could replicate many other programs. Twitter would be meaningless to them.

    Even if they replicated Twitter’s style, it could be a gesture of how great Twitter implemented their design. But in no way, shape or form is Facebook scared of the “next big thing”. Twitter ( as Eric Schmidt of Google has mentioned ) is a poor-man’s email system. In comparison to another system that allows you manage friends and information of your clique, that alone is of way more value.

    The Twitter/Facebook beef is reminiscent of the Jay-z/Naz beef of the 90′s. Highly overrated, and one-sided in terms of who’s going home with the glory. Facebook is trying to be better. And this new change means more for the future of controlling data than a fight between a mailing list application listing 140 letters per post.

  83. Zane says:

    Jesse,

    I understand your complaints. I just wrote an article the other day about the troubles of managing many social tools online (flickr, wordpress, tumblr, facebook, twitter). As services change we really have no choice but to adapt, re-analyze and reconstruct in our heads how each machine we build using these services work.

    I believe Facebook is looking at the big picture of IT. Twitter is blowing up. They believe it is due to the streaming nature of the content. Hence they made it more twitter like. It is still up to you to determine what permissions to give to different networks and who is your friend.

    Great article. Subscribing to your feed.

  84. Sing it brutha!

    Totally agree with everything you’ve just said.

  85. Chris says:

    The latest Facebook update is great.. it feels more like it did back when it wasn’t open to the general public. I’ve noticed very obviously that I’ve started to use it a lot more this last week or two.

    I tried to get in to Twitter, I really did, but I find it absolutely pointless when Facebook was around first and does what Twitter “specialises” in far better.

  86. scotchegg says:

    Personally I hope FB goes bumb now, I hate the way they are forever changing what was a working system. Whether its new people in new jobs who feel the need to change things to justify their position or as you say maybe they have a complex about been the next big thing, when all they needed to do was stay the same.

    Noone likes change in the internet world, but with few or little changes you can get away with it. FB change thier site and policies everyweek. They have created a massive negative feeling towards them now and seem to only want to make it worse.

  87. Facebook sees the competition has a good thing going, and decides to try and “level” the playing field. It could be good business sense on their part.

  88. Shawn says:

    No Live Feed = no use for Facebook!!

  89. Daemon says:

    You might want to check this article about new Facebook as well, just to give you some more info =)

    http://www.nivas.hr/blog/2009/03/17/facebook-redesigned-failed-us-all-especially-web-designers/

  90. Sarah Lyons says:

    Completely agree, its is very user unfriendly, based around maximising advertising space, and just looks plain ugly. I was already moving towards solely using twitter and this has given me the final motivation to stop logging-on.

  91. Uncle J says:

    Twitter is like facebook without all the spam & quizzes.

  92. managizzle says:

    For me personally it fundamentally changes Facebook. It’s not a matter of ‘getting used to it,’ but rather it doesn’t provide the data I want any more. The live feed was essential for tracking/interacting with friends.

    The whole thing really irks me.

  93. Chris says:

    I hate the new layout for facebook. It gives too much information. I don’t care about what conversation people are having with other people, all I care about is their conversation with me. I wish they would change it back!

  94. Natasha says:

    Facebook always had the newsfeed. Now it looks significantly more like twitter and that was likely done purposely to emulate something successful. That whole newsfeed is so much cleaner with the new update. Not sure why you’re complaining. Isn’t it better?

  95. Honestly, people who say that Facebook is not trying to be like Twitter, or that Twitter is useless (or “the poor-man’s email”) DO NOT understand what Twitter can do. Twitter is the closest thing human beings have come to telepathy.

    Twitter allows users to just post random 140-character updates. That’s how we think. We think in short bursts, not in long notes or photo album uploads or quizzes or Bumper Stickers. By following people’s thoughts, we can plug into twitter’s EXCELLENT (many magnitudes better than facebook’s) search.twitter.com feature, allowing us to search and essentially read any thoughts that anyone anywhere is having about a specific subject. Last time I checked, there is no way to search every status on facebook for everyone talking about a certain subject. So to say that twitter only does what facebook already did is just ridiculous.

    Twitter allows us to follow someone’s thought-stream. The SXSW contest in Austin is a perfect example of this. By searching twitter for SXSW, we can essentially LIVE that experience through those who are there, sharing what they see and what they think about what’s going on. How can this happen via facebook? How would this happen in a “poor man’s email?” Simple answer: It can’t. It doesn’t.

  96. [...] de una de las redes sociales con mayor explosividad de crecimiento: Facebook (de la cual soy fan porque ahora Twitter se anexa de forma natural). Compré la revista para ver de qué se trataba (después me arrepentí porque el artículo [...]

  97. Max says:

    Natasha: No, it’s not better. We’ve lost control over what we can see, I can choose just to see status updates, for example. Wall posts are a lot harder to distinguish from status updates, things such as relationship changes no longer appear.

    The whole thing was pointless.

  98. Ben says:

    @Terance way up there, it’s not hotdogs, though. It’s not two companies providing the same service and competing for the others customers. They could both easily reside in peoples broswer without stepping on toes. I agree that copying and outdoing is the only way for business to advance, but by Facebook copying twitter, they are completly undermining their uniqueness.

    A better alanogy would be if a tacco stand saw a hotdog stand across the street and decided to pack in taccos and start selling hotdogs, despite how successful their tacco stand was doing. It’s just pointless, because there is demand for both. Instead, the tacco guy should improve on his tacco ingrediants, focusing on his own entraprise. Also, there would be no point the tacco guy selling hotdogs because you can’t make hotdogs in a tacco .. making … thing … I think the anaalogy went too far. Point is … taccos!

  99. [...] at different sources. The least that can be said is there are a lot of people out there wondering why unbroken Facebook needed to be fixed, and why anyone with a user base so change-averse to begin [...]

  100. [...] Why Is Facebook Trying To Be Twitter? [...]

  101. Beth Evans says:

    I don’t actually get too annoyed whenever Facebook makes massive changes to its structure. However, the current layout is confusing because it makes it really hard to find things. I am nowhere near Facebook-illiterate yet I could neither figure out how to help my friend write his first note nor view events friends were attending.

    First, Facebook should not try to be Twitter (or FriendFeed) because they don’t serve the same purposes. If it were to try to be more of a live feed, though, it should refresh automatically or create applications like Tweetdeck. That’s the value of a live feed.

    View this funny, short monologue by @TheEllenShow on the differences between Facebook and Twitter: http://ellen.warnerbros.com/2009/03/ellens_all_a_twitter.php

  102. [...] shared his concerns over Facebook’s new Twitter-a-like makeover, and most of the Internet appeared to agree. A [...]

  103. Parker P. says:

    I definitely agree. This is why I canceled my account with facebook.

  104. [...] You will stream video from any smart phone. You do it for social (not a monetary) gain. While facebook tries, twitter is the only platform that can and will succeed at replacing the institution behind local [...]

  105. [...] this mashup, as Carnage4Life and Jesse Newhart have already noted (posts I got via Twitter, ha!) makes the reckless assumption that users will [...]

  106. [...] at different sources. The least that can be said is there are a lot of people out there wondering why unbroken Facebook needed to be fixed, and why anyone with a user base so change-averse to begin [...]

  107. Brian Kurtz says:

    You’ll know that Facebook has truly jumped the shark in relation to becoming Twitterized when they stop limiting users to only 5,000 friends.

  108. Facebook Customer Service says:

    Beggars can’t be choosers. You will use what we give you.

  109. Cari says:

    A year or two ago I read a book on the error of human design. It basically highlighted bad designs and explained why they were bad designs, and the one point raised in the book was how perfection will never exist in any product because companies are always trying to produce a newer, better version. So even once they find the perfect product, they have to change it to “keep up with competition”. The redesign of facebook reminds me of that concept.

  110. [...] at different sources. The least that can be said is there are a lot of people out there wondering why unbroken Facebook needed to be fixed, and why anyone with a user base so change-averse to begin [...]

  111. My wife is beside herself because of these changes at Facebook. They have basically changed everything she loved about it. She has no interest in Twitter, and every day I get an update about how many people are crying out for Facebook to give their customers back what they lost.

    I am especially bothered by the CEO’s apparent lack of caring for what his customers want. I have heard that he sent an email out to his employees, telling them to ignore customer complaints because “they’re not paying for it”. While that may be true, without any users, his real customers, the advertisers, won’t be paying anything either!

    As a recent MBA graduate, I know that you can’t stay in business unless you are satisfying customers needs. This strategy of doing what the company wants, not the customers, is a recipe for disaster.

  112. petri maatta says:

    It’s a great strategy to steal.

  113. Maureen says:

    Wading through FB now is like walking in quicksand. I know where I want to go but all the stepping stones have been removed so I have to wade thru this STUPID quicksand

  114. elaine_benice says:

    Facebook totally sold out and copied Twitter. Even after their update, they’re still losing ground to Twitter. MySpace sucks – but at least they stayed true to ‘who’ they are. Facebook is now a bunch of posers in my opinion. Not only did they sell out, they completely screwed up the overall performance of the site, and is very user UNfriendly. Well at least we know what they’re made of – a series of complete unoriginal ideas. It’s too bad, they had a pretty good thing going.

  115. [...] Facebook relaunched their website and services and the question is whether they respect their users needs and desires… The discussion is on ‘Facebook becoming Twitter?’ here, here and here. [...]

  116. [...] at different sources. The least that can be said is there are a lot of people out there wondering why unbroken Facebook needed to be fixed, and why anyone with a user base so change-averse to begin [...]

  117. [...] (API mässig) offener werden. Für mich ist die Aussage auch ein weiteres Indiz dafür, dass Facebook derzeit versucht Twitter zu werden. Für mich fürs erste eine Fehlentwicklung – vielleicht erkenne ich den höheren Sinn dahinter [...]

  118. yetihunter says:

    Facebook is just trying to be quick and easy like Twitter, but has confused some in the process.

    Twitter is the new fad still for a while. Facebook will be around for much longer.

  119. [...] reading a post by Jesse Newhart about Why Is Facebook Trying To Be Twitter? and then talking to my friend about this article…I was given a really interesting outlook on this [...]

  120. Why Is Facebook Trying To Be Twitter? facebook is more famous and high volume of traffic

  121. facebooklogin says:

    But recently Facebook Acquired FriendFeed which I think will make facebook more user friendly and slicker to use and cram less info down your throat trying to compete with twitter.

  122. inderseonext says:

    They are two different types of Social Media sites…Facebook focuses on largely in making connections and utilizing apps, whereas Twitter is more into your daily converstaion, facebook has a long way to be like twitter

  123. jasonyu says:

    Facebook grew its membership twice that of Twitter in the month of July. Generally speaking, I use Facebook solely for personal use and useful relationship building social site amongst my actual friends whereas Twitter I use more of answering the 140 character response: What am I doing, promoting my business, and engaging with followers.

    Yes, Twitter is a great source for instant information, communication (Q&A, feedback, etc..), and one stop advertising,marketing. Nonetheless, Facebook starting off as a social site for connecting with college peers has moved into a whole world of social interaction displaying and sharing your entire life – apps, instant messaging, profile, pictures and video, the wall…

    Overall Facebook is the winner. As a business you're better using Twitter to get your content acknowledged, read, and increase your viewership and visibility.

  124. I always wondered when facebook was going to twig on to this and try compete with them head to head, or pissibly merge as one thing, making the facebook status section, owned and run by twitter or something.

  125. I always wondered when facebook was going to twig on to this and try compete with them head to head, or pissibly merge as one thing, making the facebook status section, owned and run by twitter or something.

  126. [...] in the past year Facebook has also strived to be more like Twitter – a service built around a simple capability and which is no competitor to Facebook in terms of [...]

  127. [...] Jesse Newhart also took the axe to his quotefriends. But, much to his chagrin, Facebook went aTwitter on us. What is that about, says [...]

  128. facebook might have been scared of the next big thing, but look at google+ that is not performing so good, and twitter is known for a lot of dead beat users

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