Thanks to Twitter’s redesign, I kind of feel like I've stumbled on a social network version of Boyfriendtwin.tumblr.com. That’s because you’ll notice it looks eerily similar to another social network. I’m convinced that we’ll see Facebook and Twitter in a digital game of bumper cars over the next couple of years. One will make a change, and the other will respond. And so on.
And it’s going to be very, very interesting to watch. Compare Michelle Obama's Facebook page (left) to her updated Twitter page (right):
Some notes on the interplay between the two platforms, and predictions on how the futures of these social behemoths might play out as a result of recent changes:
1. Expect to see Twitter’s resize feature showing up on your Facebook news feed.
One of the new elements Twitter is introducing? Size-adjusted tweets which will appear larger or smaller relative to their level of engagement. Given how much we humans love infographics and, really, any kind of visuals, in our social media, it makes sense that these types of representations will creep more and more into platform designs.
2. Say goodbye to updates from your mom and hello to more updates from Slate.
Facebook’s algorithm changes give more news feed street cred to high-quality posts from news and media organizations. Organic reach has been plummeting for brands in recent months. If Twitter’s keen on following the Facebook model, it might be that your college roommate’s updates are edged out in favor of Al-Jazeera.
3. Say goodbye to 140-character tweets.
This is a bold one, I know. The 140-character minimum helped Twitter to differentiate itself when it was gaining traction around its launch, and the limit has built Twitter’s reputation as a news-y content channel where trending and breaking news stories come into the collective consciousness. But if Twitter’s redesign, and the introduction in recent months and years of video and photo content in twitter streams, are any indication, we think the 140-character rule is going to take a bow.
4. One of these days, one of these platforms is going to figure out how to give you the perfect mix of personal updates, brand updates, and news updates, and represent it visually in a way that doesn’t overwhelm your senses.
And then our lives will all be as wondrous as Blue Ivy Carter’s.
Lauren Mangiaforte is a social media manager at Obviously Social. Follow her on Twitter: @lbmforte.