There is an interesting contrast between the approaches of Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Well, there are actually many: Dick is older and balding, while Zuck is still young with a mop of curly brown hair. And Zuck’s social network is raking in billions, while Dick’s “information network” has barely started “making money”—and it’s not even clear whether that’s actually profit or just revenue.
But the more inetresting contrast is that Mark Zuckerberg is involved with launching “dozens” of smartphones this year that will have a “Facebook” button. Twitter, on the other hand, will “never” have a smartphone.
Facebook is pushing its product onto its users more than ever. It’s actually getting really obnoxious. Meanwhile, Twitter retains subtleness, a nearly invisible backdrop that would leave a massive blockhole if it left. Kind of like what would happen if the ocean disappeared…
Dick Costolo at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona compared Twitter with water—it should be immediately available, instantly useful, and not require branding or pushing. It’s water. You can’t live without it.
Dick went on to say how he believes in deep integration with every phone, a consistent platform across all devices, so Twitter can be used anywhere and everywhere as simply as possible—and that this is better than basing a phone around a social network app.
And it’s true. Who really likes Facebook enough to want a Facebook phone? Twitter is exploding as a global phenomenon—consider its impact in egypt and so many other world events where it became a real-time news source—while Facebook starts to look a little more like an awkward blend of MySpace and LinkedIn.
I still believe Facebook is more than a fad, but personally… I’m going to go drink some water.