Similarities Between Facebook & Twitter

By Alexander Poirier

Someone is using their smartphone.
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Twitter, a microblogging platform that allows users to broadcast their questions, ideas and opinions to millions of users all over the world, and Facebook, a social networking platform that allows users to directly connect with millions of users all of the world, each feed a specific niche of online social networking. While they may be different enough for both of them to coexist in the competitive online world, they also possess deep similarities.

Social Networking

Both Facebook and Twitter are social network sites designed to allow users to connect with other users over the Internet. Facebook users connect with other users by searching for users using the Facebook search option and adding the users as "friends." Similarly, Twitter users search for other Twitter users and connect with them by "following" their Twitter accounts. Though each website calls the act of networking with people by a different name, the goal of connecting users together is the same on both sites.

Status Updates/Tweets

Both Facebook and Twitter allow their users to broadcast their ideas, opinions, questions and status blurbs to other users in their network. Facebook users perform such broadcasts via Facebook's status update interface while Twitter users "tweet" their broadcasts. While Facebook users' broadcasts can only be seen by those in their direct network, Twitter users' tweets can be seen by anyone. Whether updating your status or tweeting, however, the idea behind the function is the same. Furthermore, the updates of users in your network can be seen via the "Feed" on Facebook and via the list of recent tweets on Twitter.

Media Sharing

Besides using status updates and tweets to broadcast opinions, ideas, questions and status reports, Twitter and Facebook also allow users to share media with the other users in their network. Facebook users can share pictures, videos and links to other websites by posting the URL using the status update interface. Similarly, Twitter users can share pictures and videos via Twitpic and tweet other URLs by shortening the URL with tinyURL and posting it in their tweets.

Other Similarities

Twitter and Facebook also share a number of other similarities beyond the more obvious ones previously mentioned. On Facebook, there is a "Poke" option that serves little purpose other than to get the attention of another Facebook user. On Twitter, the "Nudge" option serves a similar purpose. On Facebook, users are able to tag other people in pictures and posts while, on Twitter, users can call out other Twitter users by placing the "@" symbol in front of their name. Finally, on Facebook, users are able to comment on the status updates posted by other users while, on Twitter, users are able to reply to the tweets posted by other users.