Facebook should friend Twitter, not compete with it

Mark Zuckerberg is making an awful strategic move, based on the social network's new news feed.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 8, 2013 3:56PM

thestreet logoMan with laptop copyright Image Source, SuperStockBy Rocco Pendola


Last year, I wrote an article on TheStreet entitled, Why Twitter Will Live and Facebook Will Die. There's a good chance that Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg came across it.

This is what I wrote: "You might not know it yet or use it as such, but Twitter is the modern-day version of the newspaper."
And here's what Zuckerberg said at Thursday's event announcing changes to Facebook's news feed: "(Facebook is) trying to give everyone the best personalized newspaper."
But Zuckerberg is making a strategic error. For whatever reason, he chooses to battle Twitter rather than reach out to it and talk partnership or even merger (see TheStreet).
As it stands, Facebook and Twitter complement one another. Simply stated, we no longer go to CNN for breaking news, we go to Twitter (see TheStreet). It took ownership of that as well as the modern-day or personalized newspaper tag long ago. Just like the traditional newspaper, it will end up a multi-generational juggernaut. 
That's not Facebook's thing. And Zuckerberg shouldn't try to make it so. There's no reason to.
Stick to the mission of connecting people and up the ante by entertaining them more when they use Facebook to connect. Twitter has become the go-to source for news for millions of people. That number grows exponentially by the day. There's not another platform where you can sift through everybody from friends to strangers to celebrities to journalists to create a truly personalized news feed. The modern-day newspaper.
Zuckerberg is trying to manufacture something similar at Facebook. And it's not going to work.
Listen, I still love Facebook and think the stock will continue to soar. And there's no question the platform provides an incredibly effective place to advertise (see TheStreet). That's only going to get better. 

But, I'm looking out over generations here. When I'm about to die, I'll likely be sending my farewell wishes via Twitter, not Facebook. Because, as the two social networks evolve, the latter doesn't look to have nearly enough staying power. That could change but at the moment it looks like Zuckerberg made a poor strategic choice.

More from TheStreet.com

Mar 8, 2013 4:19PM
Leave well enough alone. competition and separation is what makes them work. Leave the corporate profit end out of it!
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