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Why Twitter will never be Facebook (and that's OK)

Matt Kapko | May 8, 2015
Facebook is the clear king of social, and it's unlikely that Twitter will ever seriously infringe on its throne. The fact is that Twitter shouldn't try to compete with mainstream rivals, such as Facebook — and social media users shouldn't view the two companies in the same light. Here's why.

"Twitter has always had that challenge of requiring a little bit of extra explaining," Berkowitz says. "It's not just for one thing, there's a whole language around Twitter that people need to learn." 

That's a challenge Berkowitz says, but it's not a unique one. "The first time anyone over 30 goes on Snapchat the typical response I've seen is the brain just short circuits. That hasn't stopped Snapchat from being phenomenally successful."

Twitter has obvious strengths and weaknesses
Twitter should focus less on addressing its deficiencies and more on promoting the strengths and defining characteristics of its platform, Berkowitz says. "There are a lot of things going for it that make it different than everything else out there," including real-time conversations, spontaneity and a legacy in mobile, Berkowitz says.

Twitter has sway with celebrities, personalities and other persons of interest, making it a valuable tool for people who want to learn more about their favorite authors, chefs, school mascots or anyone else who draws their attention. Twitter has also proven to an invaluable tool for the media, which frequently uses Twitter to break news and engage audiences.

However, Twitter's ability to target ads based on demographics is woefully lacking compared to Facebook, (again, there's that comparison) but that doesn't concern Berkowitz, who says reaching scale at the right moment is equally important to marketers.

Twitter also does real-time communications better than anyone else, according to Berkowitz. Using Twitter to reach users during a narrow window of time for a specific action like tuning in to a TV show, buying a movie ticket or setting a DVR are all marketing opportunities that work well on Twitter. "All this becomes incredibly powerful and it's hard to think of anyone that can do that right now better than Twitter."


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