Can you imagine Steve Jobs using an Android smartphone? Me neither. Betrayed Apple fanatics far and wide would crucify him if their heads didn’t explode at the mere thought of it. If the concept of Jobs touching a competitor’s product seems so improbable, on what planet does it make sense for Facebook to have a Twitter page and Twitter to have a Facebook page?
As each other’s greatest adversaries, is it a respect thing? Are their networks so widespread that not having profiles on each other’s networks would be like ignoring each other at a dinner party? Perhaps they are recognizing each other as worthy competitors, like boxers bumping gloves before a fight. Of course, after Facebook got busted planting negative Google stories in the press, it seems unlikely that Zuckerberg is all that concerned with propriety.
What’s so interesting about Twitter’s site on Facebook and Facebook’s site on Twitter is that for such innovative and tech savvy companies, their pages are pretty uninspired. It is not uncommon for Facebook to go four or five days without tweeting. Twitter’s Facebook page is no better – limited posts, no photo albums. It uses only the bare bones Facebook features. They don’t even bother modifying their wall. At least Facebook features a couple jet silhouettes on their Twitter wall. What little jet silhouettes have to do with Facebook, I’m not quite sure, but at least it’s a small attempt at customization.
Obviously both networks are there out of some sort of obligation. They are on each other’s sites, but they don’t really want to be there. Their pages are not out of respect for each other. In fact, it’s not for their benefit at all. It’s for yours.
Let’s revisit the preposterous concept of catching Steve Jobs using anything Android. What is the major difference between Apple fanatics and Social Network users? Apple supporters are in a committed relationship. They are a devoted, stand-by-their-brand group of people – willing to wait in line for days prior to a product launch just to be the first to have the new iAnything. They have chosen Apple and will stand by their choice no matter what new Android feature is unveiled.
Apple fans are brand monogamous while Social Media users flirt with every promising networking site that comes along. Facebook has over 1 million followers on Twitter. Twitter has over 700,000 fans on Facebook. That’s just a tiny reflection of the total number of people cheating on one site with the other. Most users are pretty brazen about their Social Media disloyalty sending Direct Messages to new Twitter followers that read, “Thanks for the follow! Let’s chat on Facebook!”
Twitter and Facebook recognize that subscribers use both platforms and are not ready to choose one over the other. Their bland pages on their competitor’s websites are their attempt to prove to you that they are okay with the fact that you are dating them both. Realistically, they are each other’s direct competition and they don’t want you to have anything to do with the other.
This lack of tech brand loyalty is new and unchartered territory, forcing companies to be cordial and interact with each other’s brands in unprecedented ways. Social Network subscribers are tough to tie down. They are all about free love and using whichever site feels good at the moment and few are whole heartedly committed to one or the other. Facebook hates being on Twitter. Twitter doesn’t want to have anything to do with Facebook. But they pretend to make nice for your sake as if to say “We don’t mind if you date other people. We’re totally cool with that. Watch how cool we can be!”