Facebook v Twitter for news stories. Let the battle commence…

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Last week it was announced that Facebook has set up a new resource for journalists looking to find sources, interact with readers and distribute stories. It’s been christened ‘journalists on Facebook’ and is proving very popular, having collected over 40,000 ‘likes’ since its inception.

The question still remains − can Facebook take the podium from current title-holder, Twitter, as the place to source and share news?

Looking at the competitors’ vital statistics, Facebook certainly has size on its side. Weighing in at over half a billion users, Facebook is ten times larger than Twitter.

Aside from this, Facebook is really packing a punch. It allows journalists to share content and analyse stats from their page. It also encourages engagement and has the facilities for readers to leave comments, promising to build audiences and create communities.

What Twitter lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in speed. Twitter already provides journalists with the facility for instant, mass distribution of news. Despite having fewer overall users, most major publications have more Twitter followers than Facebook fans.  

So far, the two sites seem to be on a fairly level playing field. But it’s important to think beyond who’s on a particular social network and consider why they’re there. Twitter is used both professionally and personally, whereas Facebook, on the whole, is purely for play. When I’m on Facebook, I’m looking at a friend’s holiday snaps or arranging a night out with the girls. It’s the place to pick up the news in my world and not where I’d take in the world’s news. It’s difficult to see how this will change any time soon, but social media is continually evolving and Facebook’s latest launch is certainly worth keeping an eye on.