I have written about the competition between Google+ and Facebook, this is the next installment. Not only is Google+ going after Facebook but Twitter is too. You may remember that part of Facebook’s success that allowed it to beat out FriendFeed came from borrowing, more like appropriating, FriendFeed features. According to an older article by Steven Musil, Facebook made it so users could import YouTube, StumbleUpon, Pandora, Hula, Last.fm and Google Reader into the feed http://cnet.co/7xs38t. The article goes on to confirm that Facebook’s commenting system is similar to FriendFeed’s as well as the ‘Like’ button. Guess you really do have to trademark everything. It is not uncommon to hear of people copying features, it happens with or without patents and trademarks. It’s just online the rules seem a little more lax. Twitter is now coming for Facebook like Facebook came after FriendFeed. Perhaps not quite in the same manner, but their actions definitely speak for themselves. Facebook recently announced that it’s testing an update to its news feed to include space for third-party platform buttons http://cnet.co/pkxfzw. Here, gestures other than the ‘like’ button would allow users to more easily share information and content about products and services as well as see what their friends are commenting on and liking. This is an effort to draw more marketers and advertisers to the site. Facebook will have to be careful, because there is a line there to be crossed. The same goes for Twitter who is launching a similar concept in its quest to best Facebook.
Twitter is also appealing to marketers and advertisers by tweaking its promoted tweets system to reach Twitter followers more directly http://dthin.gs/pXaxtd. However, their approach does not sound as intrusive as Facebook’s. Twitter has dubbed its new product ‘Promoted Tweets to Followers’ and its features involve brand ads in the form of promoted tweets showing up at the top of a user’s timeline the second they sign in to Twitter. Then they move down in the timeline like any other tweet, so as not to be a permanent fixture. This solves one of the old problems of promoted tweets because promoted tweets would happen and get buried without a lot of users seeing them. Twitter is also trying to one up Facebook by testing a new feature that operates a lot like a Facebook wall. Their version makes it easier to post on a Twitter user’s page, share content and chat http://lat.ms/rtCVO8 . Now both of these Twitter moves directly challenge Facebook. Not only is Twitter recreating a Facebook wall, it’s using promoted tweets in a new way to counter Facebook’s expansion of the ‘like’ button. You almost half expect Facebook to roll out promoted status updates, but that would be too obvious. The dynamic here is two social media giants battling it out for all the glory. A little competition can be healthy, a whole lot can be deadly. Hopefully neither of them will go the way of MySpace as this plays out. Each has a solid platform so this shouldn’t be an issue. Whether one wins, continually proving its superior status to the other, or not, both will stick around and endure as an example. It’s a fact of life that sometimes it’s necessary to do what Twitter is doing in order to prove you’re the best. To take someone’s idea and execute it better and in a more meaningful and useful way is a very compelling strategy. However, they have a lot to compete with when it comes to Facebook. Facebook is not to be underestimated. When it comes down to it, this is a game of wits. It’s obvious what Twitter wants, a piece of Facebook’s pie. Whether they will get it, or just be seen as a second-rate copycat, remains to be seen.