by Maria Pansulla
A cold war is brewing between Facebook and Twitter. It’s the technological Romeo and Juliet, the West Side Story of social networking. But instead of Montagues and Capulets or Jets and Sharks, there are two feuding families that are internationally comprised of millions of people.
Statistically, Facebook still dominates social media. According to National Public Radio, “Twitter’s 200 million global users represent about one-sixth of Facebook’s 1.16 billion. If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s third largest behind China and India.”
However, Twitter’s dominant presence in our culture is flooding into our notification updates, classroom assignments, and even our history books. In fact, “tweet” is now defined in the Oxford American English dictionary in relation to Twitter.
Despite having a significantly smaller user-base, Twitter has almost everything that Facebook offers: pictures, links to videos and personal accounts of daily routines. Moreover, it delivers information to the public with an immediacy Facebook lacks. So why does Facebook still have more users?
Twitter is now developing a platform for advertising companies to unleash their money to fund the company’s future app development.
Despite the positive or negative implications of these developments, Twitter is becoming exceedingly rich with social and monetary support—support that is allowing Twitter to outshine Facebook in practicality and is luring its users.
Twitter appeals to the way our generation appreciates social networking: instantaneous, and concise. Teenagers can scroll through hundreds of tweets or pictures, a seemingly infinite stream of constantly updated media in minutes.
“Twitter is so versatile in terms of its purpose because its entertaining and it can be informative,” said senior Casey Abramson. “I find out so much of my information from Twitter, I feel like I wouldn’t be socially educated without it.”
As part of the battle for social supremacy, Facebook and Twitter supported the development of Instagram and Vine respectively, which exist for pictures and videos. These sites have created an entirely new platform for communication, more compact than ever.
Our online culture has effectively undergone a streamlined evolution: from full-page blogging to two-sentence tweets to pictures and six-second videos. Because of this, Facebook is becoming less popular as a go-to social media website.
So, not only is Twitter knocking Facebook off its pedestal in the social media world, but the two companies are adapting to the way that our generation now prefers to communicate.
We’re choosing Twitter over Facebook. We’re taking our once preferred social media and choosing its more concise version.
However, just because it’s concise doesn’t mean it’s not effective. A fundraiser announced in 140 characters rather than three paragraphs may attract more attention and response from social media users.
In this battle for social dominance, we’re the soldiers for these social networks. But for us, it’s not about which company has more users or which advertising company will invest in the website. Social media has become ingrained in our culture and in return, our personal lives and pictures have fueled its popularity. These sites embody our thoughts, our conversations, and the occasionally embarrassing Throwback Thursday pictures.
There is a reason that when we want the instant gratification of interacting with our peers or seeing what is going on in the world we check Twitter. Our messages are shorter, our updates are constant, and our world is funneled into a technological medium that provides instantaneous response.