– social software

Facebook Status and Twitter Updates


Facebook Status is one of the ‘key’ social features of Facebook. It’s a medium for the user to express themselves to their friends in the facebook social network. I have seen a few friends update their status very frequently as and as their moods or feelings change. There are other’s that update it, as they find something that they would like to share with their friends. The status update could be about any topic, but one common theme I have noticed is that it has some personal touch aligned with the user’s emotions, like how they are feeling, what they want to do, or who they just met etc… I have attached a screenshot from my friend’s recent status updates to give you a feel of the ‘Facebook Status’. (The range of the age demographic is 22 – 26)


On the other hand a Tweet Update is the only ‘key’ feature of Twitter. Tweets are not always personal, unlike a facebook status. They tend to be more about situations and information around the user. The information contained in a Tweet could be useful to people who may or may not be your friends, hence it’s normal for strangers to follow your tweets.  I do not see myself in much of a connection with Twitter as compared to facebook. I had heard a lot about it but never ventured to care or use it till I made an account to send updates about my socialapp blog.

Age demographic is an important distinguisher between a Facebook Status and a Twitter Tweet. I would like to add that based on my dataset of facebook friends (age 22 – 26) and my interaction with other people in my personal network that the age demographic of Twitter is higher than that of a traditional (people who joined with the .edu account around 2004) facebook user. A twitter user is basically someone who graduated out of college before facebook came out, so I would put the age bracket above 28 years old. In fact, I even tried to use the “Find on Other Networks” tool of twitter to check and prove that none of my friends use Twitter. I was able to find only 2 of my friends using Twitter. One of them is 28 and an entrepreneur, so I wasn’t really surprised. I was a little surprised about my other friend who had a twitter account, but her tweets looked almost like something she could put in her Facebook Status as well. On the contrary, in the bay area when I visit conferences or developer meetups, I often see people using Twitter and generally happen to notice that they are definitely above or around 29 years old.

It would be fair to say that every Facebook Status could be a Twitter Tweet, but every Twitter Tweet may not necessarily be a Facebook Status. However, they are definitely converging since Facebook has been made available to non .edu emails address and the traditional facebook users are getting out of college and starting to tweet. The new design and the concept of Public Profiles replacing the Fan Pages is also much more aligned along the lines of Twitter Tweets, by allowing these Public Profiles to pass out information to users who are Fan’s (aka Follower’s) of the Public Profiles.


March 7, 2009 - Posted by | User Psychology | , , , ,


  1. But then, you don’t post statuses on your Facebook which are stupid and make no sense as your co-workers and clients may also be present on Facebook. Whereas with Twitter, you can have two accounts – one for private use and one for public use – just like Mark Zuckerberg –

    Comment by Debjit | March 7, 2009

  2. @Debjit: Ofcourse you will have filters with appropriate settings to prevent that. Plus, I would prefer to add co workers in my LinkedIn Account. I treat facebook as a place for my actual friends that I have met personally.

    Comment by socialapp | March 8, 2009

  3. Average age of Twitter users at 28? Based on what?

    Also, unless you have their emai addresses they’ve used for Twitter or know theyir online aliases it’s probably unlikely that you’ll find people.

    Comment by Cat | March 10, 2009

  4. @Cat: I meant generally 28+. My analysis is related to my data set of friends [~270] that I did my Undergrad with in the US. It may not reflect users in other countries or all regions, but I think it does too some extent wrt to US. Also, I have often been to Tech Meetup’s in Silicon Valley and also seen co-workers at the company I work at.

    I would agree with you that they may have other aliases, but I have not seen Twitter mentioned in my network of friends (average age under 25) except for the two cases mentioned above. But, eventually, there won’t be a thin dividing line left.

    Comment by socialapp | March 10, 2009

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  7. Um. Little bit of age generalisation there, don’t you think? <300 is a very small sample to be judging from in this case…

    I have been using the internet since the age of 10, as has my younger sister. We're both under 25, as are many of our friends on Twitter. Please, a little less with the broad generalising about user demographics? Thank you.

    Comment by Trialia | May 24, 2009

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