A Feature Request For Facebook

I use Facebook a bit, but I use Twitter more. It’s surely because of our investment in Twitter. But it was like that before our investment in Twitter. It could be because the people I connect to most often are on Twitter. It could be because I don’t have to log in to Twitter every time I want to use the service. Regardless of the reasons, that’s how it is for me right now.

I do have an active social net on Facebook (317 friends all of whom I know, and there are another 719 friend requests pending) and lately I’ve been getting a fair number of emails from Facebook that look like this.

Tom commented on your status:

Yeah man, the Mets – what a killer ride – does it crash?

To see the comment thread, follow the link below:
Thanks,The Facebook Team

Tom was replying to my twitter post yesterday about the Mets. He saw it in Facebook and replied to it in Facebook. I got it in an email from Facebook.

Contrast how this works on friendfeed. If Tom had seen the Mets post on friendfeed, his interaction would look like this:


He could have replied directly in friendfeed and had it also posted to twitter, where I could see it along with all of my other replies.

When I visit the status update page on Facebook these days, it’s filled with twitter updates. Here’s what mine looks like this morning.


Four of my first six status updates in Facebook come from Twitter and 30 of the 50 status updates on the page come from Twitter. It’s no wonder that my kids, who use Facebook exclusively and have never even tried twitter, call status updating "twittering".

So I think it would be great if Facebook copied friendfeed’s implementation of replying back to a twitter post via Facebook. That would help me out a lot.

Of course, they could take this even farther if they integrated completely with twitter by letting me reply back to Tom via twitter into his Facebook feed.

Some people will want to twitter on twitter, some will want to do it on Facebook, some will want to do it on friendfeed. What we need to do is make sure all these services talk to each other so we, the users, can talk to each other.

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Comments (Archived):

  1. tobias

    what? fred? you’re asking Facebook to offer up some content created inside facebook and let it be shared with the outside world? wow, that would be nice.

  2. AndyFinkle

    Will evolve just like SMTP (email connectivity), and all the disparate Instant Message services. All the legacy SN’s will go kicking and screaming, but ultimately many third parties offering this type of integration will force a standards body to create common protocols. I agree with you 150% …I can’t wait.www.twitter.com/A_F

  3. massachusettsrealestate

    It would be nice if facebook made this change.BTW – like your outside.in integration:)

  4. Joe Lazarus

    The FriendFeed approach is pretty nice, though I’m not sure it would get much use on Facebook for me personally simply because so few of my Facebook friends are Twitter users. I imagine the Facebook / Twitter overlap is pretty low whereas the FriendFeed / Twitter overlap is quite high. It’s probably a niche feature for Facebook, but I agree it would be nice to have.I’d also like for Twitter to implement improved integration with Facebook on their end. Specifically, I’d like a better way to update Twitter automatically with my Facebook updates. I can do that today by importing my Facebook status RSS feed through TwitterFeed, but there’s a several hour time delay which doesn’t work well with real-time updates. Also, when I post an update to Twitter, I’d like a check box that lets me selectively choose which Twitter messages to share on Facebook.

  5. Nate

    Man I love Twitter. Facebook is just such a chore: “so and so changed their picture”, “let’s clog your inbox with low signal emails”, “somebody you didn’t even know in high school now wants to be your friend”, etc…Here’s my continuum of connectivity:1) Email, IM, Phone: People dear to me and people I work with.2) Twitter and RSS readers: People I think are interesting. They might be funny, informative, or leaders in their field, but the key is that they are high signal people. If they get noisy or irrelevant I can stop paying attention, no harm, no foul. Note that “people dear to me” aren’t automatically on this list, and they shouldn’t be. Just because you love someone in real life doesn’t make them interesting on the internet.3) Blog: Me broadcasting to the world, but often connecting with people in comments and becoming Twitter friends with them.4) Facebook, LinkedIn, traditional social networks: Too much overlap of “people I care about in real life”, “people I work with”, “people I find interesting”, “people who find me interesting”, and “people I knew 15 years ago who now want to be friends for some reason”. Because of all that social overlap, I have to worry more about offending people if I tune out say, a friend of a friend, so I add them, but my “feed” gets noisier.However, networks like Facebook will always be bigger than ones like Twitter because Facebook has a much easier learning/growth/value curve. You sign up for Facebook and it will find people you know and you get that initial rush of connectivity and good feelings. You quickly run out of connections you value though, and then the noise kicks in. With Twitter it’s harder to get started, but once you get hooked it’s more rewarding/addictive.When Twitter was having its worst uptime trouble, big names like Leo Laporte tried similar services but they always came back because that’s where their users are. So because everybody stays on Twitter, everybody stays on Twitter in a feedback loop. Meanwhile Friendster, MySpace, and Facebook users have no problem jumping to the next big thing when stability becomes a problem or when their parents “friend” them.

  6. Ravi

    What it would also do, is make Twitter more mainstream perhaps?

  7. RacerRick

    I stopped using Twitter to update my Facebook status.Too many Facebook peeps thought there was something wrong with me.

  8. Tom Krieglstein

    Funny Fred, when I look at my Twitter feed, 15 of the first 30 are from people porting their Facebook Status into Twitter. So you are going one direction and they are going the other direction.

  9. Jens

    What a great acquisition pitch. 🙂 Let’s see what happens.I personally think it would be interesting if Facebook bought Twitter and integrated it. However, Facebook would need to become more open than they currently are, how likely do you think that is?

  10. andyswan

    Just give me the ability to reply to “messages” and confirm friends from my blackberry without having to log in. Of course, then I would NEVER log in.And the wall….well the wall just proves to me that I’m not really facebook’s target 🙂