Social Media River Blog

Posts tagged Social Media

“Twitter is about 1000% more useful than Facebook.” – Facebook’s Social Construction on Twitter

This blog post examines how Facebook is constructed on Twitter: what type of tweets about Facebook are common on Twitter; how do Twitter users address and refer to Facebook. To get some idea, I collected (between June 6 – 7, 2011) about 27 tweets (of which 23 is referenced in this post) that reflect experiences of using Facebook. I specifically selected tweets that express personal opinions and the member’s take on Facebook. These tweets by majority approach Facebook as a personal social media and networking site, and not as a company or business forum. Most tweeters (estimating from their avatar picture) are teenagers and young adults, approximately between 15 – 30 years of age, and they hold personal Facebook accounts, and do not operate (or reference in their tweets) company pages. From the collected data, I can clearly identify four different ways to tweet about Facebook.

1) Comparing Twitter and Facebook

The first group of tweets are about comparing Twitter and Facebook. Since the tweets are posted on Twitter, they are quite favorable towards the use of Twitter and often examine Facebook in a fairly critical light. However, @stayfojonas does notice this bias nature in her tweet: “LOL it’s so funny cause everyone on twitter, hates facebook. & everyone on facebook, hates twitter.” While some balance between Twitter and Facebook, @MrFornicator expresses clearly that Twitter and Facebook are meant for different type of social communication styles, of which @2FBS sees as being restricting calling his views of one of a “Twitter Police”.

Twitter made me get over my Facebook addiction lol

Dear Facebook, Just wait, one day they’ll abandon you as well. Sincerely, Myspace. #ImperfectTeens_

Twitter is about 1000% more useful than Facebook.

Twitter makes me want to have drinks with people I’ve never met, and Facebook makes me want to throw drinks at people I already know..

If you have 3 tweets in a row that say what you’re cooking, what song you’re listening to, and what your mood is… just go back to Facebook.

@2FBS (In response to @MrFornicator >>)
@MrFornicator Ahhh.. more self appointed Twitter Police. Just what the world needs.

LOL it’s so funny cause everyone on twitter, hates facebook. & everyone on facebook, hates twitter.

2) Facebook Through Metaphors

The second group of tweets that stand out from the data are tweets that describe the use and essence of Facebook through metaphors. In this selection the metaphors are quite critical, calling Facebook a “refrigerator” and  a “jail”, and “just a vacation spot”.  These tweets are part of a Twitter’s “quote” genre, a widely popular and accepted style to express oneself on Twitter.

Facebook is like a refrigerator. you get bored and keep checking but nothing ever changes

Facebook’s like jail. You sit around and waste time, write on walls, and get poked by people you don’t know. #ImperfectTeens_

Twitter = Heavily populated city. Facebook = Just a vacation spot. Myspace = A ghost town. #LetsBeReal

3) Commenting Facebook Features

The third group of tweets make comments on Facebook’s various features, sometimes reminiscing the good old times in Facebook and describing problems with new features. @Borgore critiques Facebook’s strict terms of use policy, @MaggDaddy sees Facebook as a great automated birthday reminder, frequent users @john_maalouf, @Adri_Mane, and @jess3 bring up each different aspects of Facebook features that require improvements. Twitter act as a forum to express these opinions to the public.

My photos were too abusive for facebook’s sake, ladies in their bikinis can harm our young children yet lady gaga…

Facebook = Birthday reminder

Buy And Sell Stocks Via Facebook! What can’t be done on Facebook these days!

>#ThingsIHate Facebook Instant Messages as SOON as I log on.

Facebook status updates became wall postings. They used to mean so much. You had it by your name like a quote… now its meaningless.

Ugh Facebook has decided to poke back everyone, even the little freaks who poked me like a year ago. Awkwardddd.

4) Dealing With Social Life in Facebook

The fourth and last group of tweets describe the significant place of Facebook in user’s life, pointing out awkward moments in Facebook, clashes between the real life relationships and interaction in social media, and dealing with the social media network of friends and family. This tweeting style was by quantity the most popular, although the small data really can only suggest this but not to confirm it. Teenagers and young adults appear to be quite aware of how Facebook features are used to build and express relationships. One’s status is important, and so is the ability to block unwanted friends and interaction. On the other hand reconnecting with old friends is seen as a valuable part of Facebook.  Some tweets address the virtual nature of Facebook wishing that life was as easy to manage as are Facebook’s features. Twitter is used as forum to vent about bad Facebook experiences, and bring attention to the good Facebook experiences that may potentially challenge Twitter’s status quo.

That awkward moment when you are about to “like” someones facebook status and then you see it was posted 45 seconds ago, so you wait on it.

I can delete you from Facebook & block you on twitter but I can’t delete memories or block you from my heart

Facebook should change the name from “friend request” to “I’ve seen you before but I just want to be nosy and not speak!

I wish blocking people out of my life was as easy as blocking them on Facebook.

If your relationship status on Facebook says, “It’s complicated” then stop kidding yourself & change it to “Single”

Dear mom, What happened to that line “I’m not one of your little friends,” Sincerely, stop trying to request me on Facebook.

Posting depressing song lyrics as Facebook statuses will make people want to punch you, not feel sorry for you. #JustSaying #LMTL

Facebook reconnecting me with people from 6 or 7 years back. That’s why I like it!

Wow I got re-connected with a super old friend way back when I was like 19, on facebook! So happy when these things happen.

Ugh Facebook has decided to poke back everyone, even the little freaks who poked me like a year ago. Awkwardddd.

Twitter users who tweet about Facebook on Twitter compare the different usage and needs of Facebook and Twitter, express their frustration over specific Facebook’s features, use metaphoric quote style to express the essence of Facebook, and critique settings and etiquette that make socializing in Facebook awkward.  Twitter is a communication platform that allows enough distance and anonymity from “the jail” to freely reflect and vent one’s Facebook opinions and experiences.

© 2011. Meri Kuusi-Shields /Social Media River / Interaria. All rights reserved.


Building Micro-Donation Communities Through Social Media. – Two Great Examples: Kickstarter and Kiva

Social media is more than just trying to lure people to your website; at best, it is about sharing information, building and joining to reference groups, discovering and building new networks, and giving a sense of purpose. These values go hand in hand with aid work, non-profit thinking, and fundraising efforts and hence are worthy of looking deeper. In this new social media era, fundraising websites that understand the spirit of social media are in a powerful position.

Interaria overviews in this article two fund-raising sites, Kickstarter and Kiva, that target the social media savvy audience and encourage participation, even with small “micro” donations. Both sites skillfully utilize social media genre with icon based navigation systems, integrated Facebook log in systems, emphasis on the self (member profile), and interactivity. These modern sites mimic user experiences from LinkedIn and Facebook making a member feel instantly familiar and comfortable, and ultimately lowering the bar for making donations. These sites are much more than payment gateways; they are designed to give a human face for each cause and they highlight donators as integral part of the community, building a sense of belonging and purpose.


Clever Fundraising for Creative Projects, Upbeat Community Feel

Kickstarter is a social media driven website focusing on raising funds for independent projects mainly in the creative field but also for business start-ups. Creative projects can be browsed by location (New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas…. etc) and category (art, dance, design, film & video… etc). The brand messaging implies that the target audience for the site is young urban educated adults who will most likely identify relevant regional, industry and lifestyle categories from the website.


1) Kickstarter utilizes Facebook Log In:
The site utilizes an optional Facebook log in lowering the bar for joining the community. Once the account has been created the member is not tied to use for instance the Facebook avatar but can further customize My Account page. Empowering other social media websites (for instance on Jan 2011 Flickr) with Facebook log in system has been a recent rapidly growing trend.

Kickstarter makes donating easy: Although Kickstarter doesn’t offer PayPal payments the aim is to make making payments as easy as possible. Donations are done either with Amazon payments out or with a standard credit card payment gateway.

Kickstarter promotes quality web design & web architecture: We love how well the site is designed and organized. Projects are easy to find and the navigation and user interfaces are intuitive. The site has a modern feel and the content is designed to display well on iPad and other tablets (the content is not provided as iOS apps at this point).

Kickstarter has a clever rapport to pledge for donations: We think this site has an excellent copy and the tone of voice. Each donation (“pledge”) level is structured with a promise of what one gets as a return. The return of favor varies depending the amount of pledge from a thank you note to a credit status as a co-producer or a VIP invitation to a film’s premiere.

Kickstarter supports interaction between the donor and the receiver. The starter of the project may send messages and post video about the progress. Message boards are available for leaving notes. The project starters often have a personalized approach in thanking donators and showing appreciation.

Kickstarter projects get funded only if they reach their fundraising goals. Kickstarter makes sure that donations go to deserving causes that have enough backed support to make them actually happen.

Face to Face Micro-Loans by the International Social Media Community

Kiva’s purpose is to raise micro-loans for individuals in third world countries or from indigenous surroundings. The loans are for very specific purposes, buying new equipment, buying grain for cattle, financing a new computer  – at least this is the image Kiva draws. Critics have been pointing out however, that the loans do not go directly to the people featured in profiles but they go in fact for member organizations in the designated countries that then distribute the loans. (Click here to read Harvard Business Review Blog on the matter of misleading marketing in the name of  a greater cause.) The causes are easy to search via a map interface and type. Understandably, Kiva doesn’t guarantee any loans so the spirit in that sense is of charity fundraising. Kiva does display a wealth of interesting statistics about the risks involved. Once the loan is returned to the lender, he/she can re-donate it for another cause.


1) Kiva utilizes Facebook Log In:
Just like Kickstarter, Kiva’s website utilizes an optional Facebook log in lowering the bar for joining the community. Empowering other social media websites (for instance on Jan 2011 Flickr) with Facebook log in system has been a recent rapidly growing trend.

2) Kiva utilizes PayPal as a payment gateway:
PayPal is today a preferred quick payment gateway. A quick payment method is quite crucial for a modern fundraising website.

3) Kiva’s lender profile icons (avatars) build community feel:
Kiva skillfully gives its site “facebook” feel by placing donators’ avatars below each case study. This familiar brand messaging style builds up both trust and community feel.

4) Kiva has similarities with LinkedIn:
Just like Kickstarter, Kiva encourages a member to invite friends to join Kiva by offering email address export configuration systems and an invitation letter template. A member familiar with LinkedIn knows fast what to do.

5) Kiva is in touch with the mind of a modern consumer:
Kiva offers a good amount of gift cards and merchandise for spreading the word and tapping with the modern brand image. Kiva is not only a good cause but also a fun gift to shop.

6) Kiva provides competitive data:
Just like Kickstarter, Kiva places statistics within a member’s profile by letting the member know where they rank statistically with regards to the number of loans given, friends invited and so forth. This can bring up an inner competitor and challenge to lend more.

5) Kiva utilizes Google Maps:
Although lenders might very well know where Armenia is located for instance, Kiva’s way of placing Google Maps encourage lending activity for projects across the globe. After Asia, one might want to click on South America, and after South America, one might want to give a micro-loan to Africa. Kiva’s way is to utilize common well understood features not for the sake of delivering crucial information but for the aim of building a story of global community of which one belongs to.

Summary: Kickstarter and Kiva have each a unique niche but their websites share a similar social media driven platform for modern fundraising:

1) Both sites utilize visual icon based “call-to-action” navigation structure typical to social media websites.

2) Both sites communicate clearly the outcome for each donation making donating simple, just like clicking a button.

3) Both sites have made registering and becoming a member as easy as possible by utilizing Facebook log in as an option.

4) Both sites highlight the donator/lender as an important actor with ability to control his/her profile and messages.

5) Both sites support interactivity and social media sharing.

About Interaria
Interaria is a Dallas based Web development company with emphasis on web application development, mobile app development, and social media consulting services. To contact us, please call 214-909-3900 or fill out our quick online form. Follow Interaria on Twitter.


Native iOS iPad App or Cross-Device Use? – Case of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

In the coming weeks Interaria – a Dallas iOS iPad app developer – will be focusing on discussing how media and content should, could and can be developed and optimized in the effort of aiming for an “optimal” user experience and interaction on iPhones and iPads. There are many frameworks and positions in this discussion. Ultimately the conversation is about developing iOS apps for iPhones and iPads (“native” apps) vs. creating web media and content that displays and functions well on cross-device use. Continue reading Native iOS iPad App or Cross-Device Use? – Case of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn