Social Nets Get Facelifts

Twitter, home to about 6 million users, recently started to introduce design tweaks aimed at making the service more relevant and allowing users easier access to search across trends and more. The new features are spreading slowly, for example they still haven’t arrived on the Music Row Twitter page, but as they move throughout the network they should increase involvement with this mini-blogging, real time conversational experience. All sites will soon include lists of top trends, topics, featured users, queries and easy access search bars.

Facebook is also making vibrant changes which are heating up the debate over whether Twitter is the new Facebook or vice versa. Facebook will move brands away from specially designed pages to layouts that seem more similar to the individual user pages which will also allow more interaction with friends, updates and links. Secondly, the updated info flow will refresh at a faster pace, near real time vs. every 10 minutes, according to a recent Advertising Age article. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s blog states, “This creates a continuous stream of information that delivers a deeper understanding for everyone participating in it. As this happens, people will no longer come to Facebook to consume a particular piece or type of content, but to consume and participate in the stream itself.”

The streaming nature of the new info is what is casting the Twitter comparisons. Techcrunch’s Erick Schonfeld analyses, “Facebook doesn’t want Twitter to become the way large companies and public figures connect to fans.” As the sites compete the real winners are the fans who get improved tools and new functionalities as they continue on the quest to communicate across the data universe.

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About the Author

David M. Ross has been covering Nashville's music industry for over 25 years. [email protected]

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