It has come to that time where I have tweeted over 1000 tweets which makes me feel like an official tweeter.
I started using twitter after a few friends of mine (tim & addy) convinced me that this was the most revolutionary social networking tool. Having created an account I didn’t find anything special about it as initially I was only tweeting twice a week with nothing particularly interesting. It was just a simple website that even I could make for users to tell their followers what they are doing.
People compare it to the likes of facebook however people don’t realise that these are two completely different products. Facebook offers many different levels of socialising where as twitter just shows what a person is doing in 140 characters (updating ones status). Some people might say that facebook does that too and it does but twitter has been doing it for years before facebook. Facebook is always changing its features and interface to make it better however the status updating feature is a pure copy of twitter in my opinion. Before they had even implemented this feature you were presented with a section called the “wall” on a persons profile, with this you were able to write on other peoples walls with messages and as a reply they would write back onto your wall. If you wanted to write on your own wall, you would look like a fool. The new “wall” section in facebook is now integrated as part of the profile now separated using tabs and when you write on your own wall now, that is known as updating your own status. They have also copied the “@name” feature where you can mention someone else in your status. With the same features as twitter and much more, facebook thinks it will dominate the social networking market but the fact that twitter is a sucess is because it is very simple and the simplicity has made it a revolutionary system.
The infrastructure of twitter also makes it unique and it is something facebook cannot implement. Facebook requires an email login whereas twitter is just a username. For a twitterer to communicate with another twitterer they can just “mention” them with the “@user” feature whereas facebook would require you to have added the user before being able to mention. A few months ago facebook did actually allow users to create their own usernames however this is only for the use of having your own facebook address and not everyone has opted to make one. (e.g. http://www.facebook.com/raj.chevli).
What also makes twitter successful is it’s easy to integrate environment onto smartphones. As facebook has many features and with all these features it’s hard to create that perfect app for a smartphone. Twitter only has simple features and smartphone application developers find it easy to implement such an application on a smartphone. Because of this, usability is seen to be the number 1 priority in these apps making the user experience using a twitter app very effective. This allows the user to update their status anytime and anywhere with a data connection.
I have used many twitter apps but currently the best one in my opinion for the Android market is Seesmic. Please note, I am running a modified version of Android 1.6 on my G1 so any built in twitter apps are unavailable so I have to use the third party app, Seesmic.
Seesmic provides a very easy to view and use interface implementing many of twitters features. The first image shows a tweeting conversation I have recently had regarding paying for a new webhost for this website. The next image shows how I send my tweet. At the bottom I have blurred out the location I am at but as you can see, it supports the use of geotagging your tweet.
On android, you can also have a widget to go on your home screens. The second widget (2nd row) is my seesmic widget to show me other peoples tweet. Unfortunately this doesn’t work as clean as it should but still does the job. It fits in well with my other widgets.
It is pretty much the same as the Facebook widget which does only one thing – updates your status!
So as you can see, facebook has copied the features twitter has, however if you open the facebook app, you can do a few more things. However, if there are things the facebook app cannot do, it simply redirects the user to the phones web browser and goes on facebook. Twitter apps don’t do that as they are never faced with that situation!
Also many many many celebrities use twitter as this is the easiest way they can communicate with the fans wherever they are as well as communincate with those lucky fans.
To conclude, twitter has been a big success for me as it is easy to use the system because there isn’t much a user can do but share their opinions (tweets), locations, and other peoples opinion(tweets). Facebook does have its advantages and I believe it will be something people will be using for many many years however I think twitter will last longer!
Sorry for the lengthy post!
P.S. Follow me http://twitter.com/chevli