Facebook, Instagram and Twitter & What Works for You? (Part 1)
I'm going to make the starting assumption that you know what Facebook is.
When I was a teenager, Facebook was less than what it is now, drowned out by the likes of MySpace and Bebo. Now Facebook runs TV ads and MySpace was sold by its former owner News Corp. for a rumoured $35 million. Considering it was bought by News Corp. for $580 million only 6 years before, it's pretty bad. So turns the fickle wheels of social media: you're either number one or digitally dead.
This is why Facebook in recent years has been beating its chest like the greying Silverback that it is and has been stapling new features to itself with wild abandon. As the old adage says, “jack of all trades, master of none”. Is being able to do everything better than being great at one? Is it good that Facebook does everything and is it worth using them?
Let me take you through some of the services that Facebook provides, before going for the elephant-on-the-page, Facebook Video, to create some much needed context.
You wouldn't think that Facebook would be fighting against it's own subsidiary, Instagram, would you? Well, every social media is in it for themselves. It was actually rather shrewd of Facebook to make a service like Instagram as it does something that Facebook itself can't do. Just like what happened with Twitter and Periscope, linking similar services (Twitter's live text with Periscopes live video, Facebook's image cataloging with Instagram's image share-ability,) while keeping the brands and therefore risk separate. But in combining the two services together strengthens both, expanding what each can do while slyly being able to look what what cards the other is holding so they can tailor away from each other gaining control of separate, but interlinked, market shares.
So what's the difference between them? While you can share photos on both platforms, Instagram was designed with sharing in mind while it was tacked onto Facebook as an addition to its pages system. But before you rush off to make an Instagram account, you may want to consider this question; is it worth it? It all depends on how many photos you share. You share many a day? Get one now! You only share a few a month? Go with Twitter.
On Instagram, like other social media, if you don't post often, it can be damaging. Why would someone want to follow someone who doesn't post that much?
Twitter is a good option for most as it is the public all-rounder. You can post short, sometimes annoyingly short, messages, post pictures and post videos as long as you're using or viewing through a mobile device. The best way to compare Twitter and Facebook is through this analogy.
On Twitter, you can stand on a box and shout so everyone can hear you. You can also walk up to someone and talk to them directly, tweeting with someone's @name at the beginning so it does not appear in your main feed. It goes to your &; feed instead so its out the way. Sure, the people around you can hear your conversation but you have to be in earshot. That being seeing it on the live feed before its surpassed or going off the main feed to the replies feed which very few do.
On Facebook, you are on stage with a microphone. Facebook likes putting its pages on a pedestal and gives each pedestal it's own stage. When you want to talk to everyone it's fine. It's even helpful (as long as the Top and Recent home feeds work). But when you want to talk to the individual your still on stage, talking into the microphone. It might not seem like much but what if you want to send a message to another page and ask for an interview or for an oh so needed collaboration? All you can do is comment and hope they read it and take you seriously. Within an internet comment, it's very hard to prove your credibility. You can try and private message them but many pages block it. And then some pages are actually groups that have different controls on messages. Basically, it's roll of the dice if you'll be able to message them privately or not and, when you do, whether it will even work or if they will read it.
With this you can decide whether Facebook is right for you and decide if it's worth posting on it. Next time I will delve deep into the world of Facebook video. It's a realm that just seems to be getting deeper and deeper as Facebook expands and eyes competing with the monolith that is YouTube. And to make the abyss even deeper, money, large companies and closed system betas have now got involved on top of the already rather translucent issues that Facebook already has.
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