Twitter status and Facebook status: fussiness & following

Whilst we all get to grips with Twitter and try and find ways we can monetize this channel, I thought it might be interesting to look at a few ideas that seem to be circulating amongst the Twitterati (love this new word).

What do you use your status in Facebook for? Many put how they feel or some witty riposte. Twitter as a status seems to be used for far more informative reasons, like asking a question of your Twitter constituency or for providing a useful nugget of content that you’ve produced or that you’ve seen elsewhere. It seems quite a place for viral distribution of info (retweeting) and it happens in real-time. I’ve noticed that people rarely openly tweet the mundane, beyond possibly pointing out what project they’re working on at the moment (with a view to solicit useful advice/input from their constituency).

I’ve noticed form my own followers/following, and from talking to other Twitter users, that unlike my Facebook constituency, my Twitter constituency is far more cognate: given the subject of my research, teaching and consulting, many of my following are working in the industry – people following me perhaps less so – but an interesting conversation with fellow twitterers led to a conclusion that we’re very fussy who we’ll twitter with, and that many twitterers regularly weed and cull their following/follower lists, particularly if they’re a daytime business user. Many block a follower who doesn’t have much of a bio or whose bio seems quite irrelevant tor their professional or personal interests. Others stop following a twitterer who, despite initial impressions, is simply a self publicist and/or a twitter spam merchant. On the other hand, these fellow twitterers had hundreds of “friends” on Facebook  – many of whom they did not know.

So my growing opinion is that Twitter constituencies are perhaps more tightly knit and a lot more fussy about who they involve. A great example of this is how Twitter users like to introduce a new Twitter user to their followers on the basis of trust – “I know this person, I think you’ll find them interesting and appropriate in your Twitter world.”

I’ll follow Twitter culture with interest, because I think it says quite a lot about how people feel about privacy.

FAIL: It’s Time for Facebook to Die

So – here we are on the edge of the precipice.

If you’re looking over the edge, you’ll notice that some things have already gone over. Old world companies, famous banks. You might even see the remnants of the Dot Com boom (and bust) down there too.

But – and here’s the extraordinary thing – we might be about to see a global phenomenon pass by too.

I put it to you, that Facebook is about to die.

Why?

  1. It seems like ages since anything new has happened with Facebook. There’s no obvious new features since the palaver with the new interface. I’m sure new stuff has crept in but where’s the fanfare?
  2. Spend on on-line ads (banners, PPC) is declining slightly, which is a market saturated with content publishers means there’s less ad revenue to go around an increasing number of sites. This has got to hit a business 100% reliant on ad revenue hard.
  3. A true social network like Facebook often resents corporate communications, so a number of advertisers have stopped placing ads there.
  4. The ad mechanism seems really clumsy in Facebook and relies on content scraped from individual profiles and not on Facebook user behaviour (I can write any old garbage as content on Facebook, but why not observe my attendance at events or look at things “I do” within the network?

So – with this in mind, I can’t imagine how Facebook can be making enough money to survive. Flickr can monetize through it’s $12 annual fee (small but what a long tail of professional photographers you can pick up). Ning groups can monetize themselves because of their distinctive niche audiences.  Google Groups are really adept at having very contextually driven ads inside them as part of the overall Google ad network (yet another channel).

I give it a year.

And while I’m at it. What’s gonna pay for Twitter?

Will Google buy it? Or someone else? Or wil it die off?