I, like so many others, am frequently asked, “Why are you on Twitter AND Facebook?” I am also asked, “Why are you so opposed to having Twitter update your Facebook status?” I know that not everyone uses these programs the way that I do, but I think they have incredibly different uses (at least in the way I think of them):
Twitter is for real-time and exceptionally short term interactions and to help facilitate offline connections.
Facebook is for slightly longer-term information and encourages online interactions.
For example: Some of the most interesting and active uses of Twitter:
— Gathering questions for podcast guests (e.g., @planetmoney, @photofocus)
— Crowdsourcing questions such as ideas on software solutions or suggested eating locations
— Finding the location of street food carts (e.g., @cremebruleecart, @magiccurrykart)
— Finding out where on the town people are, or getting people to join you somewhere
— Real-time reporting of live events, both formally (e.g., @breakingnews) and informally by people in attendance
— Promoting time-sensitive specials such as online sales
And some of the most active uses of Facebook:
— Sending invitations and gathering RSVPs for future events
— SuperPoke Pets
— Photo galleries
— Blog substitution or integration
— Threaded comments in response to photos, links, updates, etc.
I generally think about posting to Twitter things that would be read within the hour. Facebook is a place where my status can stay up for a day or a few days.
I know that there are some who now have Facebook open all the time on their desktops. I, on the other hand, check Facebook when I have some time to spend online, but go to Twitter all the time for brief check-ins using either my phone or my laptop.
Who knows if this difference will be relevant to you? I can’t tell you how to use anything online. I only know that by differentiating the two services, I have found greater value in each of them.