Senin, 29 Juni 2009

Facebook Needs Its Own Version

Facebook LogoTwitter is one of the most viral platforms on the social web. One link can be spread to millions of people in a matter of minutes. Perhaps the primary reason for this is the Twitter retweet (or “RT”), which provides Twitter users an easy way to share interesting updates from people they are following. We even wrote a guide on the retweet.

Facebook on the other hand is many magnitudes bigger, but doesn’t have the same viral power that Twitter contains. Why? The big reasons are probably the closed nature of Facebook streams, the lack of a real-time search engine, and no comparable “retweet” syntax. While Facebook is tackling the first two, the third one may be what trips up Facebook’s assault on Twitter.

Public Profiles and Sharing With Everyone

First problem: Facebook is a closed platform. On Twitter, over 90% of profiles are public, allowing anyone to see tweets and share them. On Facebook, the reverse is true: most user profiles are private and only friends can see information. Part of this is because the option to make your profile public only arrived in March. It’s still all about friends, not about sharing.

Yet Facebook allowing for open profiles is a big step towards making information more shareable on the social network. We’ve also heard that options to broadcast your updates to the public are also in the works, which would be another smart move to open the platform while appeasing users worried about privacy.

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