Many different social networking sites exist to help us communicate with each other using the Internet. Thanks to the digital age, we have the ability to access whatever kind of information we want, and that extends to knowing and learning about other people through these kinds of social networking sites. Facebook and Twitter seem to be the two most popular sites of their kind on the Internet - they both allow the user to contact people they know and don't know from all points around the world, and permit an establishment of their own online presence. However, there are questions as to which one is better - if you had to pick one, which one would you pick? To that end, Facebook and Twitter are evaluated in terms of their number of users, their features, their ability to let people network, and their ease of use. Due to the larger user base, the greater number of features, and the ability to network more effectively, Facebook is a much better social networking site to use.
The user base of a social networking site is extremely important - the more people are on this site, the more people you can reach with your business or for the sake of connectivity with more people. Social media sites are great ways to meet new people; therefore, you want to have the site that has the highest user base, so you have more people to potentially meet. To that end, the social networking site that has more people on it will inevitably be the better one. Facebook, on one hand, just hit 1 billion users on their site (Korn, 2012). Twitter, on the other hand, has approximately 500 million users taking advantage of their service (Dugan, 2012). While neither of these figures are nothing to sneeze at, Facebook certainly beats out Twitter in terms of sheer numbers of its users.
A social networking site's features are primarily what draws people in, apart from the people they can get in touch with. The ways in which you get in touch with people on your site is very important, as the greater diversity you have in communication the more fun using your service can be. Facebook, on one hand, allows you to write on your own wall, comment on others' stories, see entire conversations you and other people are having, and send private messages. With Twitter, most of these features are allowed, but your statuses and comments are restricted to 140 characters; you cannot write very much. You can send direct messages to users, retweet their statuses and favorite them, and somewhat track conversations between individuals. However, Twitter does not currently have apps and games, which is another big feature of Facebook, and one more way that it allows people to communicate with each other over great distances. Because of that, the advantage has to go to Facebook for the sheer number of features that it has, which is much more than Twitter's.
One of the big advantages that people are using social media to achieve is being able to network with people who may be able to help them in their business or career; whether it is through marketing of their own products or just communicating with potentially influential people, social networking sites are often used as a means to conduct business. Facebook allows companies and celebrities to have their own fan pages and groups, where people can gather and subscribe to them to learn more about new deals and job openings. Direct messages and contests permit users to easily talk to people at the head of their field. However, this is an area in which Twitter may actually have an advantage. Due to the ability for celebrities and companies to easily 'tweet' simply digestible thoughts to huge fanbases, it is easier than ever to directly talk to them, since communication is way more immediate. A single message can be carried much further because of retweets, mentions and favorites; since Twitter is much simpler, high-profile people with little time on their hands can still stay safely in touch with their fanbase without dedicating much time to their own profiles. Because the message is so simple, it is easier to get in touch with influential people and celebrities. With that in mind, Twitter clearly wins out over Facebook in this criteria.
Finally, the last criteria to weigh these social media sites against is ease of use; no matter what features you may have, or how many users, none of it matters unless you have a website that is easy to use. In the case of Facebook, everything is laid out in a straightforward and simple format that is quite easy to read. All of its features are provided on one easy-to-use interface that looks like a timeline; you can see, in order of newest to oldest, everything that you need to on your friends' walls and your own. What's more, photos and videos are always hidden behind links instead of shown visually; Facebook relies much more on pictures and allows users to see them more clearly than in the case of Twitter. With Twitter, the interface is very simple for what it is - a delivery system for small quotes and statements. However, it is much harder to view a conversation or see a picture or video on Twitter, as it involves the clicking of links. Retweets, mentions and favorites of tweets are also symbolized my markings lining the side of each tweet (a green circular arrow, a yellow star) instead of plain language notifications of 'likes' that Facebook has. To that end, Facebook has a much greater ease of use; even though it has to handle more, the simplicity of the interface makes it easy to see everything at once since it is written out.
In conclusion, Facebook is the better social networking site, based on the criteria of user base, features, networking and ease of use. Facebook has more users, more features, and is easier to use than Twitter. At the same time, Twitter does benefit from a greater ability to easily network and get in touch with people who run businesses and companies, as well as celebrities. Though both social networking sites are extremely influential and have a lot of people using them, Facebook has bigger and better than Twitter by a big degree. If you can only pick one social networking site to use, Facebook is the one to get since you can talk to more people on it, play games and apps, and more easily understand what you see on the site.
Dugan, L. (2012). Twitter to Surpass 500 Million Registered Users on Wednesday. All
Twitter. Retrieved from http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/500-million-
Korn, M. (2012). Facebook Hits 1Billion Users. What's Next? CNBC.com. Retrieved