Some people often wonder what is the difference between the two social networking sites: Facebook and Twitter. While both share some of the same purposes they are quite different. Layouts aren’t the only thing that set the two apart. While Facebook and Twitter have similarities, Twitter is described moreso as an “information network”. Sure the core of the two sites focus on profiles, relationships and newsfeed for the user’s experience, but people are using them each for different purposes.
When you become a friend with someone on Facebook, not only do you get to see their content but they gain access to yours in return. Twitter is different in this regard. On Twitter, one chooses what information he/she wants to receive and has no obligation to follow anybody. While Twitter emphasizes the actual content, Facebook emphasizes profiles and people.
So what is the difference between a social network and an information network? Sites like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, hi5, and Bebo fall under the “social networking” branch of social media. Information networks, which are a more recent phenomenon, are about leveraging different networks to distribute and consume information. These types of networks include: YouTube, Digg and Flickr. Twitter is probably the best example of an information network. Just about every social media platform has aspects of both types of networks. The greatest difference between an information network and a social network is how users connect. Facebook uses a friend model while Twitter has a follow model. Content on information networks is public, while content on most of those social networks is private, mostly because of their subscription models.
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