Social media types hear a lot about Facebook versus Twitter. Facebook recently muscled by reconfiguring its own status updates to look more like Twitter’s micromessaging. But a bunch of Facebook groups work help support and connect Twitter users (and detractors). Here’s a rundown of all 513 groups related to Twitter on Facebook found May 9, 2009.
The groups run the gamut of sentiment around Twitter, from the adoring to the exploitative. Some are cryptic, others are very anti-Twitter.
Key points that emerge from this data:
- More than 60,000 Facebook users (not necessarily unique) have joined Twitter-related groups.
- Group activity correlates with the overall size of the group.
- There are significant numbers of duplicate groups, even within a narrow topic (e.g., four groups called “twitter China development forum”). There are 41 groups called simply “Twitter,” numbering from 1 to 6,198 members. Clearly some people just do not check to see if Twitter-related groups already exist on Facebook.
- More than a tenth of the groups are anti-Twitter, with correspondingly anti-social names ranging from “When you ‘twitter,’ I silently pity you” (22 members) to “TWITTER IS THE DUMBEST SHIT EVER! (124) and “TWITTER SUCKS HAIRY BALLS!” (28)
- About 15 groups pit Twitter against Facebook, such as “Facebook is not Twitter” (1166 members) and “Stop Facebook Turning Into Twitter!” (200 members).
- Several groups are dedicated just to one user recruiting followers, such as “Follow Kevin Jeffrey on Twitter” The group has 8 members, while @KevinJeffrey has 128 followers. Has his strategy been a success?
- About 16 groups cater for those looking for random “friends” to recurit and follow in their friend-harvesting activities.
- Users can join most groups freely, but a significant number (28) require a request to join.
- A significant number of groups are based on geography, such as a city or country. About 80 groups have been created for Facebook/Twitter users all over the globe. Again there are some duplicates, such as three groups for Italy, and some mysteries, such as why a Twitter group for London has 44 members, while that for the UK has 13.
- Other groups cater for specialty interests, ranging from the mundane (“Librarians Who Twitter” and “Musicians Using Twitter”) to the racy (“Escorts on Twitter!”).
So which group should you join? Is biggest best? One that caters to your interests?
It’s hard to say. There may be cool things going on in other groups. Personally I would join the biggest and monitor the next biggest two or three. Or there you might want to look at groups that better suit your interest—but there may just be enough going on to sustain your involvement with the group.
It seems a pity that there are so many duplicate groups on Facebook. Perhaps the founders didn’t check to see if there were existing groups.
But the bottom line is that some of the interesting Twitter-related activity on Facebook is bound to be diluted. Perhaps there is some way of consolidating these groups.
A tag cloud of the group name titles gives a sense for the range of topics and main issues.
For those interested in delving further into this data, the spreadsheet is available online here: download 83K Excel file.