Facebook started out cool. You could only join the party if you had an .edu email address. And word-of-mouth publicity and internet rumor-mongering shot Facebook to the top of the “I wanna be a part of it” social media adventure.
That was then, this is now. And now, Facebook isn’t cool and Twitter is. Who knew?
I started out as a rabid Facebook devotee. I was constantly online, liking posts, sharing clever sayings and friending old pals from high school. As a baby boomer, I was considered old school on Facebook, but I didn’t care. Farmville captured my attention for hours, and I posted more funny photos of captioned cats than anyone I know.
Then I discovered Twitter. Again. I started out with a Twitter account in 2006, just because everyone else had one. I didn’t get it. Where was the like button? Where were the games? How could I post to a friend’s wall? I gave Twitter up and became completely fascinated with Facebook.
Cut to 2012. I don’t play Farmville anymore. I’ve stopped liking and sharing posts from my friends because it’s just the same old funny e-card images, requests to stop whale hunting and check-ins at restaurants.
I’m on Twitter now, and for real this time. I follow experts in my field. I follow celebrities I like. I have followers of my own, who retweet my tweets and retweets. I’ve learned more about social media marketing, my personal subject of choice, in a month on Twitter than I did in five hardcore years of Facebook. Welcome to the brave new world.
Facebook? I still have an account. But the cool factor dried up long ago, and now Facebook is like a refuge for online scrapbookers. Count me out. Mark Zuckerberg, you lost me at “Instagram.”
What makes Twitter cooler than Facebook? Three simple things:
- Follow – I can follow anyone I want. I can follow celebrities, marketing gurus, the President of the United States and a castle in England. And every so often, I can interact personally with them, if they respond to my tweet. No waiting for a friendship request approval. It’s real-time interaction for the world to see. Facebook is about me, me, me, my friends, my sharing, my likes. Twitter is about the rest of the world, which is infinitely more interesting.
- Retweet – I can retweet information from real experts or I can retweet Aunt Michelle’s recipe for coconut chicken curry. Retweeting helps me find my Twitter voice and helps other Tweeps to know who I am. My retweets may not be original, but I am paying homage to experts and I think they may appreciate it. At least that’s what they tell me.
- Mobile – Twitter’s mobile app is light years ahead of any Facebook mobile app I’ve ever used. I can simply and quickly tweet away to my heart’s content, uploading photos, tweeting my own messages or retweeting interesting information. I don’t even use Facebook on my smartphone anymore. Twitter is faster and easier.
Facebook is still good for those getting their feet wet with social media, if there are any such folks left in the world. But Twitter is where it’s at right now, and as Facebook falls behind Pinterest (my personal prediction) it will fade away into a sharing site for recipes, baby photos and ‘liked’ inspirational posters.