This Article is a response to: Why Rob Diana is right: Twitter gets the hype while Facebook will get the gold
“Rob is right, I wonder how Twitter is going to shift to get us to be more intimate with sharing the intimate details of our lives?”
I don’t see how Twitter itself is going to shift, but I see that the user base on twitter Wants to share more intimate details with each other. The main limitation from my personal experience is limited discussion space. Sharing intimate details takes a great deal of effort in 140 characters.
“This kind of customer intimacy will be far more prevalent over on Facebook because WE are far more intimate there.”
This doesn’t seem clear to me. I see far more opportunity for customer intimacy in the Twitter environment (today). On a platform like Twitter there is the opportunity to view the public stream and respond to questions, comments, observations about your brand. This doesn’t happen in the Facebook/Myspace model nearly as easily, simply due to the privacy.
If Facebook develops a more public realm within, then the opportunity for customer intimacy will be there.
The opportunity for “intimate advertising” is in the Facebook model. In that realm I can target my advertising, and in fact get my customers to do most of it for me though recommendations, ratings and so on, that just aren’t possible in the current environment on Twitter. All that’s possible in the current raw form of Twitter is raw communication.
The question of the Data Gold mine seems more of a question of which kind of data is more valuable, strict, directly knowable and know data (Facebook) or raw data (Twitter). Both have their values, and the Twitter platform seems better suited to harvesting the data. But the Facebook data is more valuable to marketers.
But is that where all the gold is?
What happens when developers start generating apps that run on top of the Twitter platform – apps that just use the 140 char stream for the transport/protocol communications layer – and deliver the (mobile) user a totally different experience, which has nothing to do with the communications that reside on twitter now. I wonder IS twitter going to support that? If so, how are they going to segment the streams to allow for data security. I submit that Bill Gurley is right regarding the gaming model that supports TenCent. This is one of the things that is likely to drive Twitter monetization if they can deliver that to developers. To be sure, games (and other apps) are already being discussed that use Twitter as the base platform. As an example, how trivial would it be to develop a poker applicaton that ran in either text modes or gui mode depending on the user’s device…over Twitter.
How much more are the game app developers making per (game) user than either Facebook OR Myspace is making on their per user scale? I understand at least one of the big social gaming companies to be profitable already. No problem to convert a MobWars/MafiaWars/Mobsters clone to dual mode play. The main issue becomes one of protocol security.
And now that you’ve considered Twitter as the transport layer for mobile application development, NOW who wins in customer intimacy? Games are the more monetiziable app, but what kinds of simple customer service applications can you imagine to be developed. And Then why can’t simple applications be developed that run on the Twitter platform to allow users to join in, rate, and so on much like we expect to happen on Facebook. Now who wins the Data Gold Mine battle? And most importantly perhaps, which one is going to show better margins on that data?
Facebook has barriers to entry in the application API – frankly I don’t see the same barrier to entry in the non-api model that could run on Twitter.