Twitter in the Crosshairs – Facebook’s Gambit

Everyone has seen the change, and have debated whether it’s really a rip-off of Twitter’s microblog format. Those of us who have been through the microblogging wars see some other similarities, with the conversational commentary seeming to run more like Pownce and Plurk than the Twitter format of @s and RTs.


Regardless, the livestream seems to have created a great “who moved my cheese moment” for many social networkers. Most Twitter users really seem to hate it (though there are exceptions). I think this should be expected given Twitterers’ propensity to fiercely defend their network in the face of criticism.

But more importantly is the actual Fcebook users response:



The reason why? Simple, do the math, and in particular compare number of users versus pageviews (hat tip: Brian Solis for the graph):


There are more than 10 times the amount of Facebook users than Twitter users. Scale matters, as Jaiku, Pownce, Plurk and Brightkite have all learned when trying to take out a market leader like Twitter. Facebook’s gambit lies in its pervasiveness, that they will be able to succeed where others have failed simply by having an already established group of users.

There is no need for follower packs or fan solicitation on Facebook. They already exist. And the network will naturally flow family, friends and colleagues rather than having to get a recommended follow pack or worse, “game Twitter.”

Sixty-eight million versus 6 million is one heck of gun to level at a social network. Because if they adapt, the microblogging war may be over, finally and as a much bigger fish, Facebook already has a revenue model in place to monetize their new pageviews. While Twitter, well, I’m not sure how they make money. I wonder if Twitter thinks they should have sold to Facebook now?

What do you think?

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