What do Twitter and Facebook have in common? Well, aside from being social media moguls, and major online time-sinks. They are the information highways we depend on every day to keep up connected to the world. Then again, Twitter is shaking the branches of its tree with new functions that have their users tweeting at full volume, and Facebook is being poked at by yet more inquiries as to their information gathering, and use.
The world is a fast paced place, but none so fast at these social spaces. Why does it matter so much to us when the formatting changes or the way we view content is shifted? It is important to us because in this day and age, these are our outlets. We can’t have changes to them without getting upset. The ever classic line, “Oh I was just getting used to that, too!” is muttered as we poke through new layers of the Facebook timeline.
Twitter has made a move towards a more Facebook News feed experience. A (probably) random selection of users has had an experimental change put into their Twitter experience. Now, instead of just seeing tweets from the friends and celebs they follow, there are tweets from the friends’ friends. Favorite tweets are now shared publicly, the same as a Facebook “Like”. This is where it gets more upsetting to the hard-core Twits.
The two services provide similar results, but have entirely different experiences. Facebook is a social network of (over)sharing. The posts you make can be kept private, but the point of them is to be public. The Facebook News feed means that everything you look at, comment on, or Like is cataloged for all to see. The Facebook algorithms control that feed, and that program only shows you a tiny portion of the day-to-day activity. It probably keeps people from going mad, seeing every action of every person on their list.
Twitter, while not too different, has always had a more tailored feel. You only get tweets in your timeline from people you choose. Then again, you do get every single tweet from that person, which is where the 140-character rule really comes in handy. In the end, Twitter is a tool for reading fast news, fast updates, and generally just being fast.
That Twitter wants to expose its users to other users is no big surprise. That would be how they make their money. The fact that they are using what your friends, and those celebs and marketing things you follow, are doing on their feed makes sense.
However, that doesn’t mean that those users or their followers have to like it. This Twitter outrage will blow over. Does nobody remember the great News feed uproar? Now here we are, living life and getting around just fine. You may not care what your fellow Twits are up to, but perhaps you will find some interesting things out there.