The ability to link Facebook statuses and tweets is great for lazy people, Tweetdeck fans, and social media aficionados boasting “Look at me, see what I can do!” Ok, that’s a bit harsh. Yes, logging into various social networks to speak your mind may be a bit inconvenient. But it doesn’t mean that the best solution is to say the same exact thing everywhere.
Here are some reasons to consider unmerging your status updates and tweets:
1. The Annoyance Factor
The communication styles of Twitter and Facebook are completely different. Twitter includes elements like hashtags (#), replies (@), and retweets (RT@), and Facebook statuses have normal sentence structures. Facebook statuses are usually in the third person, whereas Tweets are usually in the first person. So merging your Tweets and Facebook statuses means that Twitter lingo will show up on Facebook, and third person sentences will show up on Twitter. Since #, @, and RT@ are irrelevant on Facebook, nobody wants to see it there. Especially when you’re replying to someone else, because then your status won’t even make sense. And you just look silly talking in the third person on Twitter. Very annoying.
2. The Privacy Factor
Everyone uses Facebook and Twitter differently, but commonly Facebook is like a reunion of friends and Twitter is like a podium in front of an audience with a short attention span. You can use Facebook’s super-customizable privacy settings and limit who reads your status updates. However, Twitter is completely public, so even people not following you can read your Tweets. You could restrict your profile completely, but then you won’t get many followers. So do you really want to be Tweeting everything you say on Facebook? Not only are people on Twitter not really interested in what you’re doing Friday night, but that’s a bit scary, right? People don’t have to be following you to pay attention to you; you’re just a URL away from who-knows-who.
3. The Who-Cares Factor
Like many people who use both Facebook and Twitter, I use Facebook for my friends and Twitter for everyone else, but mainly for my career field (marketing and social media).
One of my typical Facebook statuses might be: “Just had the most awesome weekend ever, but so sad it’s Monday!” My Facebook status will get several likes and a few “Me too” or “What did you do this weekend?” comments. My Twitter followers WILL NOT CARE.
One of my typical tweets might read: “Top 10 Ways For Brands to Use Social Media – bit.ly/yaddayadda.” My Tweet might get a few retweets and a reply, “You might like this article too: bit.ly/blahblah.” My Facebook friends WILL NOT CARE (unless they’re one of my coworkers).
4. The Word Limit Factor
On Twitter, you only get 140 characters to speak your mind. On Facebook, you get 420 characters for status updates. So why would you limit yourself to a mere 140 characters on Facebook when you don’t have to?
5. The Frequency Factor
The communication styles on Twitter and Facebook are much different. On Twitter, you want to meet new people and make yourself known, so you might update your status more frequently with links, useful knowledge you might have, and other interesting tidbits of information. On Facebook, things are more relaxed because all of your friends have friended you back; it’s not like you’re trying to impress people into following you. Because of this, people tend to tweet much more often than they update their Facebook status. So while it’s acceptable to have five tweets in a row, it’s almost obnoxious when someone on Facebook updates their status five times in a row.
It’s ok to merge tweets and status updates on an individual basis. For example, if there’s a funny link you want to share, or something everyone could enjoy, then by all means, merge away. Otherwise, keep them separated.
Do you merge your Tweets and Facebook statuses? What other reasons are there for not merging them. On the flip side, what do you think are the benefits of merging them?