Facebook appeals to people looking to reconnect with old friends and family members or find new friends online; the mashup of features like email, instant messaging, image and video sharing, etc. feels familiar, while Twitter is a bit harder to get your arms around at first.
Most people can very quickly grasp how to use Facebook to connect to friends and family, using it to share thoughts, images, etc. Like MySpace but more geared to adults than teens, Facebook is a social networking Portal; beckoning you not to leave but rather to stick around and communicate within the network.
Twitter on the other hand, encourages you grab ideals in byte-size chunks and use your updates as jumping off points to other places or just let others know what you’re up to at any given moment.
Why People Love Facebook
Facebook appeals to social animals and can be very addicting to people who have an insatiable appetite to stay connected with friends and make new acquaintances. In fact, some people report they rarely use email or IM tools anymore in their online social communications anymore, relying almost entirely on Facebook for email, chat, image and video sharing.
Facebook addicts prefer the social portal model versus having to log into AIM, Yahoo Messenger, Gmail, Hotmail, Flickr, YouTube, MySpace, etc. Instead, Facebook gives them a single alternative to all these applications, with one login and interface to manage their online social interaction needs. This largely explains the explosive growth Facebook continues to experience and why the company reportedly invested $200 million in data center upgrades last year to keep up with demand!
Why People Love Twitter
The usefulness of Twitter is not readily as obvious to some people as Facebook; although it may be more addictive once you get the hang of Tweeting; you get more immediate responses and it seems to live somewhere between the worlds of email, instant messaging and blogging. Twitter encourages constant “linking out” to anywhere and, in that respect, is more analogous to a pure search engine; another way to find people and content all over the Net.
Twitter has quickly built brand awareness and a loyal following, especially among the technically adept; bloggers, online marketers, evangelists, basically anyone with something to promote seem to find Twitter extremely valuable.
When asked why they love Twitter, users say like “I can ask a question and get an instantaneous response”. They crave the ability to “tap into the collective consciousness” of others on the network, bouncing ideas off others with whom they would otherwise have no means of connecting. Twitter addicts claim it’s like the old fashioned water cooler, where people can gather to shoot the breeze on whatever topic is on their minds. Twitter is like a communications stream you dive into for an invigorating swim.