What’s going on with Facebook and Twitter?

4 minute read

In the past week there has been several updates in the world of social media – community pages on Facebook and promoted tweets on Twitter. To find out more, as well as how people are using Facebook and Twitter to talk about the volcano crisis and the general election read on…

Firstly, Mashable recently reported that Facebook are rolling out a link between user’s profile pages and business pages, to be achieved through Community pages. The Facebook blog have given some more information about the community pages themselves.

Community Pages are a new type of Facebook Page dedicated to a topic or experience that is owned collectively by the community connected to it. Just like official Pages for businesses, organizations and public figures, Community Pages let you connect with others who share similar interests and experiences.

Mashable have expanded on this further explaining that the community pages aren’t run by individuals, so there are no updates to users’ feeds. The idea is that the community pages import streams of related content from user status messages. Though these pages have value, many Facebook users have responder negatively to the launch, with the general feeling that Facebook is no longer about sharing interests with friends and family, and more about Facebook obtaining data for advertisers and income. However, Facebook have included privacy settings to block this information being shared.

Secondly data from comScore, as Mashable reports, suggests that Facebook commands 41% of social media traffic (as of March 2010), while Twitter captures around 8% of traffic. For the first time, Facebook has had more traffic than Myspace and had a growth of 8% from last March. Twitter and LinkedIn have also grown substantially. Furthermore, social media is becoming a strong platform for discussion about popular topics, for example the upcoming general election and the recent travel disruption as a result of the volcano in Iceland, as the Telegraph reports.

Facebook and Twitter, in particular, have been a hive of activity, providing up to the minute news updates, as well as a way for people to easily pool their resources with other stranded travellers.

The Telegraph goes on to report that Facebook groups like “When Volcanos Erupt…” have become a platform for people to talk about their current situation and getting home. New stories like these demonstrate the importance and power of social media in our everyday lives.

Finally, last week Twitter launched ‘promoted tweets’ which has been described as ordinary tweets that businesses and organisations want to highlight to a wider group of users. At the moment only a handful of businesses are able to use this function, for example Starbucks (below). It is likely however, to be rolled-out to more businesses in the future.

While it appears Twitter are moving to full advertising in our Twitter feeds, Evan Williams (COO of Twitter) has argued that promoted tweets are not ads, and that they are infact a combination of ‘earned media’ and ‘paid media’, as Mashable reports.

What do you think? Are promoted tweets a move to more advertising, and have you been using social media to talk about the general election and all things volcano? Here at Sign-Up.to we believe social media is important for individuals and businesses to promote their messages. Looking at the recent traffic growth of social media (from comScore’s data), it would suggest that as the platforms continue to grow, the likelihood of your message being received by your customers increases. Let us know what you think in the comments box below!