Facebook vs. Twitter: The Real-Time Battle

The power outage at Super Bowl 47 shined light on a growing issue for Facebook. Namely, its lack of relevancy during a live-event.

Super Bowl XLVII, the third most-watched program in television history, was accompanied by 52 national TV commercials, according to internet marketing site Marketing Land. Twitter was mentioned in 26 ads, or 50 percent, aired during CBS’ game coverage. Facebook took home four mentions for eight percent, while Google was not touted at all. YouTube and Instagram were both shown once.

Facebook and Twitter each received eight mentions out of a total of 59 national commercials during Super Bowl 46 in 2012, wrote Marketing Land. That means Twitter received more than two times as many mentions this year, while Facebook saw a 50 percent drop in big game ad mentions year-over-year.

(Read More: Twitter, Washington Post Also Announce Hacks )

Why are brands, who shelled out an average of $3.8 million per 30 second spot, shying away from a social network that has 1.06 billion users for a micro-blogging platform that has just 200 million users?

My obsession with photos

In college, I was the dork guy who carried a camera everywhere. Because of that, I have thousands of photo memories that my friends and I can share.

In 2007, I started coding Posterous because I wanted to share photos from my iPhone. Becoming a blog was an afterthought.

And now at Twitter, I’m thrilled to be a part of the teams that are making our photo experiences better. Today we launched photo filters to the world, through a partnership with Aviary. This was a super fun project, working alongside some of the smartest folks ever.

I’d also like to give a shout out to @armond‘s team and @wm‘s team, who work on the photos backend and make this all possible. I never dreamed I’d get to work on products that have this kind of scale or reach. It’s pretty amazing.


Hey Twitter, buy Embedly

Embedly totally rules. The service takes a URL pointing to another site, and returns some embeddable content. This has completely transformed my Twitter experience. When I go to a tweet page, I would normally see this:


It’s the tweet, 140 characters or fewer, and a link to additional content.

But thanks to the Embedly extension for Safari, I now see this:


Embedly saw the url in the tweet, went out to that site and brought the content right into Twitter.

This makes surfing a million times better. Most great content on Twitter is a URL pointing to another site (you can’t really get much into 140 characters). Instead of constantly being taken away from Twitter to see this content, I can now see it inline.

If I don’t want to be distracted by a long article, I can click a link to add that post to Instapaper. Awesome.

Some might argue that this takes page views away from those sites. That might be true, but I’d optimize for engagement over page views any day. I want to enhance the end user experience. Posterous might lose a page view, but the whole world wins a little.

I have spent way more time on since installing this extension. For the first time, I prefer the website over the native apps. The experience is much, much better. It almost feels like Twitter itself is more powerful, not restricted to 140 character posts.

Twitter should buy Embedly and make this experience universal across their entire platform.

Follow me on Twitter here.

p.s. Yes, we’re working on supporting Embedly within Posterous :).

People applaud Forbes for replying to a tweet? They reply on Twitter because its public not b/c they care

in the last 3 months I’ve noticed anecdotally that when I complain about something I’m much more likely to hear from someone associated with it.  I don’t think this is because I’m becoming important- ha ha. (Yea like that’s going to happen.)  I think it’s because Social Media is becoming important.

Forbes saw Chris Kieff tweet about the obnoxious ads on Chris and Forbes messaged back and forth a few times about the issue and Chris blogged about how great it is to get attention, and that “Social Media is becoming important”.

Would Forbes have responded if the complaint had come in via email? Why not? Why should social media get more customer service attention than other channels?

I’ve had a lot of experience with customer service on Twitter. A few months ago, I blogged about my dissatisfaction with Comcast and Sears. I didn’t intend to contact them on Twitter, but they found the post and contacted me. Both companies engaged with me via Twitter, then email, then phone, and ultimately took care of my issues.

But even though they were helping me, I called them out on it:

It is only through the power of Posterous/Twitter/Facebook that my complaints are being heard and actions are being taken. For these companies, it’s all about being perceived as listening and fixing their issues, not about actually getting down to their root problems and fixing those.

The worst I’ve seen in this arena of publicly providing customer service via Twitter is Bank of America. They have a team of six people who tweet as bofa_help. Looks at their tweets, just a series of “how can we help you?”

You know how you can help? Let me talk to a human being on the phone. Refund me the hidden fees you keep charging.

You think they have the power to do that? I doubt it. They only have the power to tweet. And are only there so that people think Bank of America is listening and doing something.

Good customer service is important. But lets not get too excited when a company hires a social media customer relationship manager. Often these people are completely disconnected from the product and the rest of the support staff.

Great companies provide top notch service through all channels, and they don’t do it just to be public about it. They do it because they actually care.

Does Silicon Valley noise detract from long-term value creation? From Andrew Chen’s blog

Now that I’ve been here for a few years, it’s clear to me that the Silicon Valley echochamber has its clear negatives as well. Being out of touch with the average American consumer is one obvious negative. Chasing down technological rabbit holes is another.

One of the most common conversations you’ll overhear at any startup event is one entrepreneur giving another entrepreneur their elevator pitch. Or, you’ll overhear an entrepreneur giving their pitch to a prospective startup engineer. In fact, I would argue that many startups spend more time talking to other people “in the know,” than they do potential customers, whether those startup savvy people are investors, job candidates, fellow entrepreneurs, advisors.

Stop reading blogs so damn much
Have a strong vision that’s flexible yet specific
Ignore the competition
Don’t go to startup events
Forgo short-term opportunities if they are clearly short-term
Be skeptical of opportunities that are both hot, and easy
Remember that you only need one big success

I was very surprised to read this post on Andrew Chen’s blog. Since I’ve moved back to San Francisco, I figured everyone here was *all about* the web 2.0 scene.

I enjoy going to web events occasionally, and I’ve met other company founders who are really awesome. But for the most part, I’ve never really understood the appeal of immersing yourself into the scene here. People in SF seem to lack balance, they are unable to connect to normal users.

Even events like SXSW bother me. They are simply ways to meet other entrepreneurs and pat each other on the back. Nothing is learned or accomplished. If anything, it makes you even more disconnected from the normal world. You leave SXSW with the desire to build yet another location based social network, with tight Twitter integration.

I’ve also always believed in the “one big success” idea. So many entrepreneurs go from company to company, idea to idea. Either they are incredibly smart and can come up with ideas faster than I can, or they are chasing the wrong goal and are starting crappy companies just for the sake of having a company. I waited many years to start a company. I waited for the idea that was worth quitting my job for, taking a risk on.

I know my time at Apple greatly affected what Posterous is today. But I wonder if my time in New York also helped shape the product into something more accessible to the mass public. While I was in New York, few of my friends were programmers, and none were super techy.

I remember a long time ago when I was showing off Posterous to a friend. Well, it wasn’t called “Posterous” and it was only on my local machine. My friend suggested that instead of making a standalone product, I should make it a plugin for WordPress or Movable Type. I told him I have zero interest in installing and managing WordPress, and hundreds of millions of other people don’t want to either.

I think if I had been immersed in the web 2.0 tech scene, Posterous would simply be a WordPress plugin, and only used by geeks like me :).

I don’t think I could live any closer to the epicenter of Web 2.0

Friday was the office warming party for Scribd. They just moved to awesome new offices in SOMA. Congrats on the growth guys!

 When I looked up their address on Google Maps, I was surprised to find them literally about 50 feet from my apartment. I knew I was close to the Twitter building (Scribd is in the same space), but I didn’t realize it was *right there*. They couldn’t be an closer.


How to Hack Together a Twitter Client using Net News Wire on a Mac – Guy Kawasaki

you can use Posterous instead which enables you to tweet multiple pictures, audio, and video. (Disclosure: I am an investor in Posterous.)

Since I got into Twitter, I’ve been fascinated by how there are so many desktop twitter clients being developed.

In the year 2009, it seems like making everything web based is the way to go. I’ve never really agreed with this, but that’s what everyone is doing.

Except twitter. Somewhere, someone realized that twitter was better as an app on the desktop. Which is funny. Because if Adobe can try to put photoshop on the web, why can’t there be amazing twitter clients on the web?

But i’m not complaining. A native app (Tweetie) does give a better experience.

At one point, I was using RSS feeds to read my twitter stream. Not anymore, but it’s an interesting way to go…

So many Twitter apps available for the iPhone, which one is the best?

I’ve been playing around with all the different iPhone Twitter applications out there. Lots of really great ones, and each takes a different approach to how they bring Twitter to you. I’m sure each serves a different market quite well. Am I missing any good ones?

 Which Twitter app do you use and why? And if your favorite Twitter app doesn’t support Posterous yet, let them know they should. 🙂