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Does Twitter Own Facebook and LinkedIn for Status Updates?
Alternative title: Are Facebook and LinkedIn the largest Twitter aggregators?
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all provide streams of content – the content can either be created on the service or the content can be posted automatically from outside sources – typically either RSS feeds or from one of these services to another. Both Facebook and LinkedIn have content outside of the stream while Twitter is completely based on the content stream.
What I’ve noticed more and more over the past few months is that the stream on both Facebook and LinkedIn is dominated by Twitter updates. And since I follow basically the same set of people on all 3 services, I see the same update over and over again. I understand that everyone is different but I have to assume that for many people, their overlap is somewhat similar.
This overlap of content creates several issues – I’ve discussed a few of them in years past when FriendFeed was still an active service.
The biggest issue I see with the mass sending of content updates to every possible social network is: where to comment to get a reaction from the status creator. As a basic example, if you look below, Anil Dash has posted an update on Twitter which was sucked into Facebook. Three people have commented on Anil’s content. Will Anil respond to these comments? Does he even know that these comments have been posted? And do the people commenting understand that Anil may not even know that these comments exist? While it might not be important for a typical status update, if I ask a question seeking help, then it is important that I see the replies.
There is always talk that some updates belong on Twitter, some on Facebook and some on LI. But the truth is that it seems like people just want to pass along their content to whatever service will take it (most of you know my view is that 99% of updates are not needed). I am hoping that in 2012 both Facebook and LinkedIn will offer the option to turn off third-party aggregation. Such an option would instantly clean up my streams on all three services. The downside from the company perspective is that they would lose the updates that are so important for monetization.
One note, I didn’t include Google+ in this post because they don’t currently support external aggregation. Once they do (and that will be soon I am sure), then my stream on Google+ will follow suit with Facebook and LinkedIn.
Here’s part of my Facebook stream — the highlighted pink sections are the Twitter updates (click the image to view the full stream):
And here is part of my LinkedIn stream: