My Facebook Kids Finally Get Twitter

We are headed to Honolulu today. I twittered that fact and within minutes Joshua was back to me (via text message) with a recommendation for a ramen place called tenkaippin. I didn’t ask for it, but he offered it and we are now headed there for lunch

My kids are foodies and Jess said ‘wow, that’s cool dad’

Earlier this week she had gotten a text from her friends who were in boston visiting colleges. They wanted a recommendation for a sushi place. Jess asked me and I twittered the question

We got back a half dozen messages, and quickly determined the best place which she texted back. Her friends were thrilled

They used to think twitter was a stalker service. They still do, but they also think its awesome (‘at least for you dad’)

Facebook is their service and I don’t see them leaving it anytime soon. But for the first time, this week, they have twitter envy. That’s a small victory and I’ll take it


Comments (Archived):

  1. Derek Kreindler

    As someone close in age to your kids, I’ve got to say that Twitter seems like little more than an annoyance. We deal with enough narcissistic blowhards daily, the last thing we need is constant updates on their daily activities.

    1. fredwilson

      Well fortunately its not imposed on you. Its an opt-in kind of thing

  2. simondodson

    its certainly great … im all wrapped up in disqus atm .. thank you for the hat tip. ive stripped my blog an added disqus , oh the joy …

  3. james alonso

    Fred,I think i’m still with your kids on this one, and i think this post illustrates one of the big issues facing twitter right now. People can know about the service, hear about it, and see it, and still not be that interested in using it. I know that I’ve been hearing about it on all the blogs for a long time now, and never been compelled to become a user. Compare that to when my friend urgently told me about facebook back when it was new- i had my profile up in minutes. I think that twitter has the potential to be really useful, in the sort of way you described in this post, but in its current incarnation it hasn’t done much to get me involved. Something hasn’t clicked yet with the potential users, and I don’t think the company will take of f until you guys figure out how to make that happen.

  4. trex

    I’m in college and I think Twitter serves no purpose. Why not use IM for realtime communication? Facebook is different since it actually serves a purpose (finding old friends, organizing events, etc.)I’m still of the opinion that only the older generation uses Twitter, and moreso if they’re ‘A list’ bloggers.Here’s a test – I can convince my mom to join Facebook since she may be able to contact old school friend. How do I sell her on Twitter? Tell the world what you’re doing right now? Seriously, is that important?To me, twitter is simply a feature that’s already part of IM, Facebook, etc.

    1. trex

      Sorry that was typed in a rush…it’s kind of incoherent.

  5. Antman

    The chasam grows ever deeper, yet narrows.If ya had asked me BEFORE they both launched, which would kids prefer and which would adults prefer, I would have gotten it backwards.My rational; adults go for utility (facebook), “it serves a purpose, find a friend, organize events etc.” Kids, the connection (twitter), “I can see what my friends are doin’ all the time and can connect with em all with one message not a million.”Clearly I would have missed that one. Maybe that says more about me???

  6. Jeremy Herbel

    I desperately want to use Twitter, but I just can’t find a use. I don’t know anyone from real life that uses it. I could get on there and keep up with people I follow online, but now FriendFeed fulfills that purpose. I don’t know if I even have any friends that have heard of Twitter other than the ones that I told about it. How can I convince people that are never online for anything other than email or Facebook to actually use Twitter?

    1. fendien

      I’m right there with you jeremy. I’ve been trying to get into twitter, but i don’t know how to get it more involved in my daily life. i’ve told my friends about it, all of whom use facebook, but it hasn’t grown on most of them. for people in our situation, what can we do with it? fred’s example is very interesting and shows the potential of twitter, but i don’t know if that could occur for most of us right an aside, this is my first post using disqus, and this seems very cool thus far.

      1. simondodson

        ha! im in your guys boat…. trying to use twitter but really cant find a need …

  7. Gabe

    aloha, you’re around the corner from my apt….some local tips–there’s good pick-up volleyball games on saturday on the beach next to the hale koa hotel (2 minute walk from tekaippin). you can also rent kayaks and other ocean equipment there.-unless you’ve already done diamond head, ten minute drive from waikiki is nice little hike at manoa falls-…-on the way to the airport, if you’re pressed for time for dinner, you can stop and get some interesting hot dogs at

    1. fredwilson


  8. jeremystein

    twitter is the new aim. our generation texts instead of calling. we instant message our roommates instead of talking to them. its an always on communication platform. i can be reached with the same id on my cell phone or my computer. that’s a big deal.

  9. Julien

    not surprising to read here the same type of comments we received when we were running Upoc. I owned a group back then call “sushi lovers” which was exactly about helping one another find good sushi restaurants. Some people were into the app and some were not, but after a while most users would get tired of it. Now times have changed, sms has grown on people, and there are many many things that twitter is doing much better than Upoc, but still, I can’t help but wonder if twitter’s utility is that much greater now than Upoc’s back then.

  10. USC

    fred, twitter works for you in this context because you have a gazillion followers. most of us don’t. we have a small # of people who don’t religiously follow our posts and when we say “what’s a good restaurant in boston” that message is a tree falling in the woods.

    1. MikePLewis

      exactly. I agree. It’s hard to find the benefit in Twitter. I just wrote a post to that point here: http://sideways8.wordpress….it’s almost like you have to follow a ton of people or have a bunch of people follow you for it to provide that kind of use. Without that it’s a completely differnet – and less useful – service

      1. fredwilson

        Exactly. So start following people and people will start following youFred

  11. joshua

    more importantly, how was tenkaippin?

  12. charlie crystle

    The difference between SMS and Twitter is maybe like this: say you have a teen who goes out for the day. 5 minutes into the day he calls “dad, I’m heading into the subway” then calls again, “dad, I’m out of the subway, and heading to Virgin” and then calls again “Dad, I’m in Virgin and looking for a new record by a band I can’t remember the name of” and then decides to head to the park and calls and says “dad I’m heading to the park.”First, it’s a one-to-one relationship. So the only input back from that information is from Dad. Never a complete picture. Next, Dad’s getting a bit bored by the thrid call, and by the fourth a bit annoyed, because he’s busy rearranging his stock certificates. Finally, Dad only cares about when he leaves and when he gets back. Something like that.All along the way, Dad didn’t have a choice. Twitter gives Junior the ability to be less intrusive, expands his audience and feedback loop beyond dad, and gives Dad the ability to check up on junior at his leisure instead of at Junior’s whim. SMS gives Junior the ability to poke someone, while Twitter makes it someone’s choice to be informed by Junior or not. Twitter is more civil, less urgent, and more open to a variety of feedback.That said, Twitter isn’t for loners. If you have no audience, it’s like sending your diary to [email protected] ( is a zen moment)

    1. fredwilson

      Twitter isn’t zen

      1. charlie crystle


  13. deepeshbanerji

    reading this post was the tipping point to becoming re-engaged with twitter. I’ve always had an account but i never put into the effort to build a network. the tool is only as powerful as the network you have so i will put some effort into getting some twitter contacts

  14. Butter Milk

    I’m twenty and I really think the Twitter concept is cool, but I invited all of my similarly aged friends (give or take a couple years) and none of them were interested…so I have a twitter account taht is pointless to use because nobody is connected to it, and I feel a little odd connecting myself to much older bloggers who I don’t really know ‘in person.’ Personally I don’t quite get the point of Facebook…the communication tools seem nice enough, but are generally used for pointless things, and the apps seem even more pointless. Of course the apps are what really launched Facebook into popularity, but I could care less about getting virtual beers or joining massive Facebook battles (Pirates v. Ninjas…huh? What does this accomplish?) And it really isn’t very up to the minute the way Twitter is, no matter what you hear about kids checking their Facebook profiles during class.

  15. Dave Stone

    Interestingly, I find the easiest way to describe Twitter without a demo is talking about my tweets “i’m thinking about lunch, who’s around in Brighton”, and explaining the conversation from then onwards from who & where.

    1. fredwilson

      I’ve given up explaining. I just tell people to send a text to 40404 that says follow benkweller or follow taylorcaby or even follow fredwilsonThat usually does the trick

  16. mauriciogl

    quiero conocer personas y tener muchos amigos, para compartir experiencias.