To Kill Twitter or Not to Kill Twitter?

    February 9, 2009
    Chris Crum

The other night, Facebook announced it was opening its Status API. This provoked an array of reactions around the web. Many seem to be under the impression that this will kill Twitter and similar services. There is certainly no general consensus though. You’ll find probably just as many people discussing why it will not. Let’s look at a few reactions…

Will Kill Twitter?

Nick O’Neill at AllFacebook: Get ready for streaming Facebook status tools galore. Just over one month ago I suggested that opening up that status API would be the first step toward Facebook killing Twitter. Now we will see if this really has as large of an effect as I claimed it would.

Loic Le Meur’s take: "It means Facebook now directly competes head to head with Twitter. WOW."

Gordon Kelly at Trusted Reviews: Let’s get real however, with the site reporting over 15m users updating their status each day and sharing over 24m links per month this steamrollers into Twitter land. Is Twitter established enough to withstand it? Will the two fight, merge or happily co-exist? Who knows?

Facebook Status Update

Twitter Status Update

Will Not Kill Twitter.

Mike Butcher at TechCrunch UK has an interesting four reasons that Facebook’s status updates won’t kill Twitter: 

1. Twitter totally changed the model in social networks
2. Twitter is "mainstreaming" the Follow model faster than Facebook
3. Facebook’s business model is predicated on them owning your social graph.
4. @replies on Twitter are almost always public

He of course elaborates on each of these. MG Siegler at VentureBeat thinks Twitter will "thrive" as a result of Facebook’s move:

"A lot of people use services that automatically pipe in their Twitter updates to their Facebook status (which again, leads to a lot of messages that make no sense), but now you should be able to do it the other way round, too. And that will actually get me using Facebook status updates more, because I will use it if I’m going to say what I’m actually doing and let it get sent back to Twitter. But I’ll continue to use Twitter for the other micro things I want to say."

Om Malik at GigaOm writes: "While the company still struggles with its identity (a service provider or a platform?), the Twitter API has some serious developer mindshare. On an almost daily basis I am contacted by developers who are doing interesting things with it (though admittedly the API has some serious challenges)."

By the way, as Malik also points out, the Status API wasn’t the only thing Facebook announced. Developers now have access to things like Facebook video and notes as well.

As for Facebook killing Twitter, the suggestions that it will seem to be more in the form of questions. The suggestions that it won’t seem to be more in the form of answers. And the answer seems to be no.