There have been changes to the services being offered by Google and, more notably, Facebook in the recent days, each trying to amalgamate the service they offer with one similar to Twitter, in that you can subscribe to individuals status updates and posts, regardless of being their friend or not.
Facebook’s introduction of the subscribe feature allows users to follow celebrities and people they have an interest in, introducing a whole new range of settings allowing control over who can see your posts and whose posts you are exposed to on your own news feed.
Twitter found itself introducing accessibility to the lives of celebrities when it started in 2006 and had many celebrity endorsements, most notably Stephen Fry. This is the kind of publicity that Facebook and Google can’t possibly replicate. So far, the celebrities I’m suggested to subscribe to consist of Mark Hoppus and Jared Leto, probably due to the lack of take-up from the celebrity world. Either way, these aren’t clear thought leaders of the social celebrity, whereas if they managed to pry Lady Gaga (13,640,606 followers) or Justin Bieber (12,755,649 followers) into endorsing the Facebook subscribe service, the take-up would be much more emphatic.
It is either the lack of take up from the celebrities, or Facebook is unable to match my long list of likes and interests, especially in celebrities in various fields.
Google+ was launched in June 2011 to the anticipation of many technology and social media enthusiasts, on an invite-only basis. The service took parts of what Facebook and Twitter do well, and developing upon them. Amalgamating the fact that you can follow brands and certain outspoken specialists without them needing to add you as a friend, Google lets users add these people to circles. Meanwhile, helping limit what’s being blasted at you on your news feed, Facebook has launched something extremely similar with a “Lists” function.
All the while Twitter has been slowly biding its time, growing sustainably. Their purchase of Tweetdeck for between $40 and $50 million after seeing a fall in traffic to third-party APIs reflected a defensive move to ensure that Twitter would not be ousted as a platform.
Sure, all of the recent social media developments may seem to have left Twitter in the dark ages. But it’s still essentially a much less cluttered service than that of its competitors. It would appear that, amidst the development of Facebook and Google+, Twitter is unwittingly carving a niche for its 100 million active users.
About the author: Andy is an SEO, Social Media and technology enthusiast and these changes only serve to excite and confuse him in his day working for a nucleonic sensor and pressure transmitters company. Follow him on Twitter @AndyM23.