Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Will Twitter's Photo Sharing Win Over Facebook Users?


COMMENTARY | When it comes to social networking, Facebook and Twitter are extremely popular avenues for people to explore. While Facebook allows users to post pictures easily from wherever they are, when Twitter users want to upload a picture, they have to turn to third-party applications like yfrog or Twit pic. However, Twitter is apparently moving to launch an official photo sharing service very soon. Sharing pictures in a tweet stream is fairly popular activity, and it really makes sense that the folks at Twitter would want to have everybody using their service, instead of a third part app.

Most of the third-party applications were easy enough to use; however, many novice users likely found themselves logging in and logging out at a pretty good clip just to leave a comment. Still, the overwhelming majority of Twitter photo sharing tools were good, but they lacked the polish of Facebook. Not that Twitter and Facebook are identical, but they have a lot in common, and when Twitter gets around to offering its own photo sharing service, which could be as early as this week, it will be a sign that the social network child is really starting to grow up.

While Facebook boasts more than 500 million user accounts, Twitter has around 200 million users. The micro-blogging platform, Twitter, offers users the ability to be as visible or invisible as they desire. While an in-house photo sharing application will likely mean less traffic and use for third-party apps, the move would bring Twitter one step closer to mimicking the experience users experience on Facebook.

It is that mimicry that could win over users fed up with Facebook privacy problems and other issues. Twitter could win some users and might even make some money, but would unlikely make a huge dent in the empire of Mark Zuckerberg.

As Twitter matures and adds services, the company will undoubtedly grow. While many users contribute status updates to both major social media companies for now, that process may grow tiresome as the features of each site begin to grow closer and closer together.

Twitter no doubt has eyes on some of the market share possessed by Facebook, and one has to wonder how many changes will be necessary until they start to capture some of that audience. While it is not likely to happen anytime soon, things move pretty fast in cyberspace. Does anybody remember MySpace?

Jason Gallagher is a former travel professional and long-time Pennsylvania resident. These experiences give him a first-hand look at developing situations in the state and everything included in the travel industry from technology to trends.

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