For the last week and a half I have been making heavy use of Twitter as the main way to update my Facebook status. For those of you who are interested in how to make this work seamlessly, I’d suggest you use the Twitter Facebook application.
There are a lot of people on Twitter whose tweets are really amusing but who I would not necessarily want to have as “friends” on a social networking service. I’ve found a few people whose tweets are absolutely hilarious and entertaining. Others are just very thoughtful and insightful. That being said, I don’t know that I necessarily need to know a lot more about these folks than what they write in Twitter. I don’t think of Twitter as a social network for me – it’s more like picking up a book of short stories by unknown authors and appreciating the joy of discovery. Fortunately Twitter makes it very easy for me to “follow” someone without having to do a lot more work or share a lot more information.
Twitter is great for following transient events. There are a handful of conferences that I haven’t been able to attend but that I’ve been able to follow on Twitter. I don’t want to have to “friend” a conference just to follow what’s going on. Ditto on news events – I don’t want to have to become a “Friend” of the wildfires in San Diego just to figure out what’s going on – friending a disaster strikes me as a morbid concept. Twitter makes it easy for me to add and drop stuff that’s transient in nature without the awkwardness of dropping or ignoring a full-fledged friend on a social network.
At the end of the day, I do believe that Facebook status updates and Twitter can peacefully co-exist as they serve different use cases. I’m indifferent as to where I post, but I have to say that Facebook status messages generally get my attention in a way that tweets don’t as there is a social context to the messages I get. I can only hope/assume that the Twitter team is thinking hard about how to power status updates and news feeds for other social networking services.