Practicum Post – TwitterPosted: December 12, 2011
I’ve decided to compare and contrast Facebook with Twitter for this blog post because of the prevalence of both of these sites in my life and others’ lives.
Tweets vs. Statuses. Looking at Facebook and Twitter, there are some obvious differences. The length of statuses or Tweets you can publish are substantially different. With Twitter you may only enter up to 140 characters, but with Facebook, there seems to be no limit anymore. If you want to say more in a Tweet, there are ways to do so (which I haven’t figured out, but I’ve seen others do it), or you can always attach a link to another website if you want to show your followers what you are talking about.
Followers vs. Friends. This is pretty self-explanatory. On Facebook, you have “Friends.” On Twitter, you have “Followers.” They’re essentially the same thing with different names.
Profiles. Facebook is based around a personal profile. You upload videos and photos and include information about your school, job, interests, hobbies, etc. on the “Info” page. You write on your friends’ walls and comment on their photos, videos, posts, etc. On Facebook, there are so many ways to connect with friends and share information about your personal life (besides just posting statuses). On Twitter, your profile is less informative. You may include a 160-character description of yourself, if you choose, and this will appear below your name on your Twitter page (see image below). Mine says “Kappa Alpha Theta. ON WISCONSIN!” This includes very little information about my personal life, unlike my Facebook that states my school, favorite movies, where I work, and many other things. It is much more difficult to find out personal information on a person’s Twitter unless they Tweet that information, but even then, it’s not plastered on a separate page, like it is on Facebook.
Privacy. Compared to Facebook, Twitter privacy settings are incredibly easy to use and understand. With just one click, you can set your Twitter to private (see image below). When it is set to private, you must approve of who may follow you. I have decided to keep my account public in order to gain more followers (I’m up to 76!). On the other hand, Facebook privacy settings are incredibly detailed and often times difficult to understand. You can customize your privacy settings, keep some things public and others private, etc. There are so many ways to adjust your Facebook page that, to me, it seems overwhelming.
Overall appearance. I’ve found that there is more room for creativity on Twitter than there is Facebook. I’ve had a fun time changing the background and text colors of my Twitter to show off more of my personality. I figured out how to upload my own background image and edit the text colors to match. Twitter also supplies several basic background layouts for people who may not want to deal with editing the look of their page. I think in this sense, since Twitter doesn’t reveal as much of your personal identity as Facebook does, this is a way to show who you are and what you are interested in without explicitly stating it like on Facebook.
Overall, there are many differences between Facebook and Twitter. I like each for various reasons – Facebook allows you to share and look through thousands of photos on friends’ pages and Twitter keeps everything short and sweet. However, when it boils down to it, they are both social networking sites that have attracted millions of people and allow us to connect with friends, family, celebrities, and others.