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Tip To Investors — Facebook And Twitter Serve Different Audiences And Cannot Be Compared

Written by on December 22, 2014

In the battle to attract advertisers and prove their worth to the digital marketers, investors and analysts can tie themselves up in knots and are often busily comparing apples and oranges.

To keep things simple, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), Instagram, and LinkedIn are like apples, oranges, pears, and broccoli. So, no point in talking about them as if they were interchangeable or as if you were comparing various different but completely equivalent platforms.

It does not matter what is the monthly active users (MAUs) number is on different social media networks. What matters is if they serve their purpose and their audience well. The aforementioned SoMe networks clearly do which is why they have become so hot with hundreds of millions of devoted logged in users. But that should not blind analysts to the differences among them.

Here are a few things to remember when talking (and comparing) social media networks, their revenue potential and attractiveness as digital marketing platforms.

Instagram is Not Bigger Than Twitter

There was much new reporting recently about how Facebook’s Instagram has more users than Twitter. Well, MAUs are hardly the kind of accurate measure that media should focus on. Instagram is a photo-sharing app and if lots of people are sharing the pictures of their lunch or cats or outdoor locations, that does not mean Instagram acquires the kind of value Twitter has in the world at large.

Like Facebook, Instagram is for sharing stuff with a close, limited and closed circle of friends. There will always be people who’ll do that. As smartphone costs rapidly decline, more users will be on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and so on and taking and sharing photos — which is the easiest thing to do.

But Twitter is a platform with a limited appeal but those that do use Twitter are probably more influential than Facebook and Instagram’s teenage users.

Facebook And Twitter Users And How They Approach News Events

Twitter is the platform of choice for leading politicians, world leaders, Hollywood stars and other celebrities. Twitter is where all the important news journalists are. Twitter is where important news stories are shared and go viral.

Facebook, on the other hand, is mostly about interacting with friends and family and so on.

On Twitter, one can ‘follow’ important thought leaders and even interact with them such as by asking questions to which Twitter personalities do reply back if they are actually using/managing their Twitter accounts themselves instead of outsourcing that to some social media company.


Finally, in case you are wondering what fruit Pinterest compares with, it clearly is the mango among social media networks.