Why Rob Diana is right: Twitter gets the hype while Facebook will get the gold

Rob Diana just wrote “Sorry Twitter, Facebook is The Data Gold Mine.”

First, let’s go back to Ronn Owens. He’s a talk show host on KGO Radio. Actually, he’s the #1 rated talk show on the #1 station in San Francisco (if you exclude nationally-syndicated radio guys like Limbaugh). I was listening the day he discovered Twitter. He resisted at first (a guest told him he MUST be on Twitter, because it’s a good way to let his listeners know what’s coming up). The next day he announced that he had joined Twitter to his audience. I was follower #24 (he now has 558). I joined about 20 minutes after his announcement because I was driving. It was amazing to me that he had only gotten 24 followers in that time, which demonstrates the lack of engagement of a talk radio audience, but I’m getting off track.

What got him onto Twitter? (He’s talked about it several times since). Its publicness.

This is what is driving Twitter’s hype. See, for a celebrity like Owens, or a brand like CNN (which has several accounts on Twitter) the publicness of Twitter is like crack. Facebook might have more users, but it’s hard to be “public” on Facebook. Google’s spiders (the software that indexes web pages) can’t get into Facebook easily while those same spiders eat up Twitter.

The “publicness” of Twitter makes a TON of sense for someone like Ronn Owens who wants to reach a world-wide audience with very little work. Facebook makes less sense because it’s not only more work (there’s a lot more to do on Facebook than just write simple text messages from a cell phone) but it isn’t as public so it’s harder to get new followers.

But this is exactly why people tell me they use Facebook instead of Twitter. So, Facebook has the numbers (about 180 million for Facebook vs. about 10 million for Twitter). It is also why Rob Diana is right: people will put more intimate stuff, like having a baby, into Facebook rather than Twitter.

Only weirdos like me like sharing intimate stuff in a public forum and having conversations. Hint: for every weirdo like me, there are 1000 who are like my wife and only want to discuss that stuff with their “true friends.”

Which brings me back to Rob Diana’s point. It’s those intimate details that will bring advertising opportunities. “I’m having a baby shower in San Francisco at the Hyatt” is the type of thing normal people will share in Facebook with their friends but will never think of sharing in Twitter. Yet that’s the kind of information that a brand like the Hyatt needs to engage with you.

When I went to Las Vegas recently and said I was staying in the Luxor, someone got back to me at the Luxor on Twitter and said something like “let me know if I can help you, I can get you show tickets and make reservations for you.”

This kind of customer intimacy will be far more prevalent over on Facebook because WE are far more intimate there.

Rob is right, I wonder how Twitter is going to shift to get us to be more intimate with sharing the intimate details of our lives?

Oh, and I wonder how Facebook is going to keep us sharing the intimate details of our lives as it tries to add businesses to the social graph? The first time some business answers back a Facebooker like the Luxor did to me on Twitter they might get freaked out, so Facebook has to be careful here.

So, why would Facebook get any money from the Luxor? I can see a ton of ways. Can’t you?

Think of the Yellow Pages. Simple listings are free there (or were back when I advertised in the 1980s). But bigger ads that are more impressive cost thousands per month. Use that model on Facebook. Imagine a brand, like Luxor, just wants to say hi. That’s free. But how about post a link? That’ll be $4 please. And on and on.

70 thoughts on “Why Rob Diana is right: Twitter gets the hype while Facebook will get the gold

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  2. My experience with the intimacy of Twitter differs. I find that many share intimate details on Twitter, which surprised me at first. I knew when a follower’s parent was dying, when a follower’s daughter was robbed, when a follower’s website was hacked. This kind of intimacy has not been my experience on Facebook. Twitter seems to have room for both sad and happy experiences, whereas Facebook seems focused only on the “fluff” of life. I use both, and will continue to use both, because both offer value–it’s just in a different measurement.

  3. My experience with the intimacy of Twitter differs. I find that many share intimate details on Twitter, which surprised me at first. I knew when a follower’s parent was dying, when a follower’s daughter was robbed, when a follower’s website was hacked. This kind of intimacy has not been my experience on Facebook. Twitter seems to have room for both sad and happy experiences, whereas Facebook seems focused only on the “fluff” of life. I use both, and will continue to use both, because both offer value–it’s just in a different measurement.

  4. It’s a scary thing that, after all, will be one single big social networking website, no matter if the name is Facebook, Twitter, etc. It’s kinda Google remake…

  5. It’s a scary thing that, after all, will be one single big social networking website, no matter if the name is Facebook, Twitter, etc. It’s kinda Google remake…

  6. Its crazy to think that people are actually making livings from websites such as twitter and FB. I know they are the minority, but tied into a good branded blog, like Guy kawasaki, it all adds to the overall online presence of some people, and hence drive traffic.
    Lucky them.

  7. Its crazy to think that people are actually making livings from websites such as twitter and FB. I know they are the minority, but tied into a good branded blog, like Guy kawasaki, it all adds to the overall online presence of some people, and hence drive traffic.
    Lucky them.

  8. @ Stephen Lynch – I am in complete agreement with this statement: “Why do people think that Twitter to Facebook this is an apples-to-apples comparison?” Hammers are used for nails and screwdrivers are used for screws: both can be used to build a house but each does its own job best. That’s the way I view Twitter & FB – I like the flexibility, “self-promotion,” and speed of TW, but the “intimacy,” targeted ads (yes – I have clicked many of these and they have been interesting for me), and comfort of FB. But I do not have expectations that my TW will replace my FB or vice versa – in fact I like that TW compliments my FB experience by quickly updating my status. As for the 140char limit: this is half the fun – getting your message through in an effective & coherent manner (although some of us may need the secret decoder ring for these acronyms).

  9. @ Stephen Lynch – I am in complete agreement with this statement: “Why do people think that Twitter to Facebook this is an apples-to-apples comparison?” Hammers are used for nails and screwdrivers are used for screws: both can be used to build a house but each does its own job best. That’s the way I view Twitter & FB – I like the flexibility, “self-promotion,” and speed of TW, but the “intimacy,” targeted ads (yes – I have clicked many of these and they have been interesting for me), and comfort of FB. But I do not have expectations that my TW will replace my FB or vice versa – in fact I like that TW compliments my FB experience by quickly updating my status. As for the 140char limit: this is half the fun – getting your message through in an effective & coherent manner (although some of us may need the secret decoder ring for these acronyms).

  10. Now thats realy interesting. Lots of people are joining twitter ! i heard that president Obama has a twitter account aswell. Confirmation please ?

  11. Now thats realy interesting. Lots of people are joining twitter ! i heard that president Obama has a twitter account aswell. Confirmation please ?

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