Facebook asks, What’s on your mind?

by Julie on May 13, 2009

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Realizing that those folks over at Twitter are on to something, Facebook recently changed its ‘status update’ question to ‘What’s on your mind?’

The status update lets you broadcast news, questions, links, thoughts or general info to all of your Facebook friends. To see what your friends are doing ‘right now’, just click ‘Home’ in the top left navigation (the blue stripe next to where it says ‘Facebook’). If you have groups set up within your friends, you can check on specific groups of updates as well. Under ‘newsfeeds’ in the left sidebar, your groups will magically appear once you’ve created them.

Interestingly, you can now jointly publish your Twitter tweets and your facebook status updates…but make no mistake: Facebook, even with its new language, can’t manage the same reach as Twitter.

Why?

  1. Because most people check in with Facebook (maybe?) a few times a day, but people are tapped into Twitter constantly – via their computers or mobile apps. It’s alive 24/7.
  2. People expect a steady stream of updates from Twitter – that’s what they go there for. They only expect sporadic bites of information from Facebook friends.

Still, telling your Facebook people what’s on your mind can be powerful.

  1. It’s yet another way to spread information and reach your network.
  2. Twitter can become quite loud and crowded. But everyone isn’t posting status updates on Facebook and the updates are coming in at a much more digestible rate – so your chances that people will read them and take action are increased.

Image courtesy of The Paradigm Shifter

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Jennifer H. May 13, 2009 at 11:33 am

Thanks for putting this out there — interesting thoughts. I completely agree that although Twitter updates are more timely, FB can be a powerful tool for getting out your message. Curious — is there a statistic you found on which to base the ‘most people only check FB a few times a day’ statement? Although I don’t have any real data, is seems that most of my 400 friends are on FB many times day, but only 10 or so (people, not percent) of them are on Twitter.

I tried for a while having my Tweets auto-post to FB, but it became VERY confusing for most of my FB friends (since there’s no way to edit RTs, @ signs or hash tags). Since, as you mention, FB updates are usually more ‘digestible,’ I find it works better for me to post a FB comment and leave it for 1/2 a day (or more) and get responses throughout the day. For example, I recently posted a FB update that linked my friends to interesting photos on husband’s Web site. Traffic to his site exploded that day (more than 350%), about half of which could be directly traced back to my FB page.

That said, I still use Tweetdeck to post occasional Tweets that I want to also post on my FB page.

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