Facebook today launched a brand new way of keeping up to date with your friends and fan pages, via SMS. After setting up your SMS settings, you’ll see a “subscribe via SMS” link below the profile pictures on profiles and fan pages. A small but extremely significant addition…Why? Let me explain.
What’s conclusive is that this is a blatant step further into Twitter territory and in many respects, another case of “people seem to like that, lets do the same” – but there’s nothing wrong with that, businesses have been doing it for years. What is certain, is that slowly but surely, Facebook is becoming a Twitter with real profiles, image sharing, photo sharing, video sharing and more – built in. The question remains, is that enough? Personally, I don’t think so. I still believe Facebook should have stuck with their initial path of mapping the social graph and becoming the ultimate telephone book rather almost hacking themselves into becoming what Twitter is and trying to do it all.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Facebook and Twitter needn’t compete, they can both have a slice of us.
Facebook won’t stop trying…
Irrespective, it seems a little too late and Facebook appear adamant on attempting to wipe Twitter out. This latest move might just be the deepest cut into Twitter USP since Facebook decided to redesign their news-stream. By being able to subscribe to friend updates, it opens up virtually every mobile phone to what Twitter has had from the start, an awesome way of keeping up to date with just the people you want to keep up to date with. Along with SMS updates for friends, you can also keep in touch with ‘Fan Pages’ and are therefore updated on your favorite bands whereabouts and more. When you receive a text message, you can simply reply to the message to leave a comment on the update – that’s the @reply problem sorted.
…and they might just win.
Whilst I stated earlier that I don’t think Facebook will be able to crack the Twitter nut, I could of course be wrong and Facebook still have opportunities to do so…Despite what many Twitter fanatics believe, Twitter has still not really broken into the mainstream. There are plenty of celebrities on there, plenty of businesses, plenty of entrepreneurs and a mass of customer service reps but, Facebook has the advantage. It has your average Joe on there, people who aren’t interested in really selling anything and just want to keep up to date with their friends because they’re their friends.With SMS updates this is now easier than ever.