Twitter – the new Facebook

3 mins. to read
Twitter – the new Facebook

I’ve got a Twitter account. You might like to follow me on it: @Adrian_KC

Historically I’ve not used it much because it’s fallen short of Facebook for discourse. You can’t make a proper qualified statement on Twitter because the 140th character is likely to be the comma before the qualification, which thus won’t exist. This is why even the brainiest of Tweets come a cropper, because of the abbreviated nature of the posts.

It has caused media sensations, no doubt about it, but more often than not precisely because it was not fit for purpose for having an intellectual discussion. I’ve preferred Facebook for debate. Character limit is never a problem, and unless you’ve culled your friends into some Gossip Girl type clique of minions to your views, then you can have some quite frank and fiery exchanges, and real discussion. As far as I’m concerned so-called ‘Safe Spaces’ should be made air tight if they must exist at all. But the truth is they mustn’t exist at universities. Universities are seats of learning, not comfy chairs.

With the advent of the meme (an image file with text on it) Twitter effectively came to Facebook. The world and his (or her, I suppose these days) wife posting inane, banal Deepities and lowering the IQ on offer. Deepities are named after Deepak Chopra by the way. His style being to say things which, at first glance, seem profound, but on closer inspection, turn out to be pure meaningless flummery.

Facebook has been the most effective social tool thus far. But social media is always evolving, and Facebook has gotten very proprietary in the video department. Notwithstanding the lack of a blanket copyright license, such as YouTube has for music, video posts uploaded direct to Facebook will be far more effective than those linked to YouTube. However, I doubt this has hurt YouTube too much.

Google owns YouTube and they have been developing their chat platform to challenge Facebook. Google + and Hangouts make it easier to talk on Google, but according to Eric Enge (Stone Temple Publishing) around 90% of Google + users have never made a single post. Suggested figures are around a paltry 300m active users out of 2.5bn accounts. Facebook can claim 1.4bn active users. Twitter has around 1bn accounts but only 300m active users. That’s all about to change.

Twitter has now moved into not just video but live video as well. This is huge. They are challenging YouTube, because those who are actually in the video can connect with Twitter followers without any need to ‘friend’ them on Facebook. YouTube does live broadcast events but has been complacent and allowed Twitter to catch up. Twitter is putting licensing in place which will place them ahead of Facebook, and make them more attractive to music artists, for example.

So what’s the state of play with the Twitter stock? It’s not performed since the IPO and is now at a 40% discount to the price at the offering. A buy signal would make this an attractive proposition. Twitter are very bullish and have plenty more up their sleeves to follow through on this campaign. The stock, unlike Facebook, didn’t over-react to the market fall in August, so could even be quite robust. YouTube being part of Google makes it difficult to trade against with targeted risk, but Facebook is easy. You can see they’ve been diverging for some months now.

TWTR v FB 151211

Incidentally, there is a phrase for when someone gains access to your Facebook account and makes detrimental changes or posts on it: Facebook Rape, or ‘frape’. I’ve got a much better word for when someone else comes on your Facebook and you have to clean up the mess: Fabukkake.

The photo is of the Twitter HQ here in London. The Dalek on reception was no help!

Twitter Dalek Reception WP_20151202_11_20_13_Pro

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