Why Twitter Will Take Over Facebook

Calm down, Facebook fanatics – in my opinion (I will speak only in my own opinions from here on out), Facebook will never truly go away. The social network has become so ingrained in our everyday lives that to lose out on this medium would be disastrous to American life as we know it. With almost half of the U.S. population alone on Facebook (152 million), it is amazing how a platform can connect the world so effortlessly, and it is hard to say that this amazing tool will ever be obsolete.

What I do see happening in the future, however, are more and more people reaching to Twitter in order to connect; I will say this without reserve, and I whole-heartedly believe it: the amount of users on Twitter will surpass the amount of users on Facebook within the next 20 years. As of June 2011, Twitter has 350 million1 active users, up over 300% from 20102. Twitter users are growing at a slightly more rapid rate than Facebook users, and eventually the late-adopters of Facebook won’t account for enough to keep up with Twitter’s rapid increase.

Numbers Don’t Lie

First of all, Twitter is growing faster than Facebook is currently. And while there are still slews of untapped markets over in the developing world and beyond for Facebook to dip its hands into (its ultimate goal is, inevitably, to connect everyone), Twitter will have the opportunity to tap into those markets at basically the same time. Remember, Facebook must attribute its immense amount of users to its two-year head start (Facebook 2004, Twitter 2006) over Twitter. Twitter is keeping up pretty well for giving Facebook a pretty hefty head-start.

Going Mobile

The second reason that I see Twitter’s following surpassing Facebook’s is the mobile browsing craze that is currently sweeping the world. With the increase in smartphone demand, as well as the increase in sales, Twitter will become a more accepted platform than ever before. The ability to live-tweet from a smartphone from basically any location where cell service is available makes it almost an effortless way to connect with the people around you. Having your social network with you on-the-go, every day, is another reason why users will sway more toward Twitter in the coming years.

Virality

The final reason that Twitter will outshine Facebook is due to Journalism and Current Events. Regardless of the social network, I am consistently seeing one theme: people like to talk about what is going on around them. Twitter does an excellent job of facilitating this type of communication by having “Trending Topics” on their home page, as well as their introduction of the hash tag to facilitate discussion on relevant, searchable topics. Just last week, Twitter reported surges of tweets before, during, and after the NCAA Men’s Championship game on Monday night. Over 2 million tweets over the course of the tournament were recorded, as well as over 240,000 tweets during the championship game alone3.

Will Facebook suffer the same fate as MySpace has today? Probably not, but watch out for Twitter in the next few years. I’m excited to see just how far this little birdy can fly.



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