August 17, 2009

Twitter vs. Facebook: Real Time Search

Some of you may have stumbled upon Facebook's most recent attempt to Twitterfy themselves: Real Time Search.

As you know, you can search any name, topic, location, phrase, etc. in Twitter and get real time results. You can see what people are saying - thereby promoting "Trending Topics." For a while, I thought "Facebook should TOTALLY do this!" Last week, Facebook finally listened to me (haha.)

You can now search for ANYTHING (not just people) and Facebook will search status updates, photos, notes, videos, etc. Yes, Facebook has a larger database than Twitter -- so there's more to search.

For the PR professional keen on monitoring for client mentions, this opens a new territory of searches. Given the fast pace in which social media is playing a pivotal role in publicity, an argument can be made for the importance of Facebook Real Time search - since it's a direct reflection of consumer feedback.

So, with a larger user database and more diverse search options, Facebook is ahead of the game a bit. Though Trending Topics and clear, concise information over a large network of public profiles, is still a very big plus for Twitter.