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Tue 31 Mar 2009 03:20 PM

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Birds of a feather

The popular micro-blogging platform Twitter seems to be becoming less distinguishable from other social networking services such as Facebook according to Gareth van Zyl

One would think that Twitter is unique in the social networking universe. After all, its 140 character ‘micro-blogging’ nature appears to make it stand out amongst other online services such as Facebook and MySpace. Perhaps it was this aspect that encouraged me to sign up and become one of the millions who have joined the fastest growing social network on the web.

When first logging in, I initially found it quirky, with definitions of Twitter terms such as ‘Tweet’ appearing in the top right corner of my profile page.

It’s also nice to see that Twitter has quite a bit of extensibility with features such as Twitterfox, an add-on for your Firefox browser that gives you the ability to ‘Tweet’ while surfing the web. You can even use a service such as TwitterTunes, which works in conjunction with the Firefox media player plug-in and which gives others the opportunity to find out what music you’re listening to and what videos you’re watching.

All this seems like something refreshingly different in the online world until you realise that many of your fellow ‘twitterers’ are using services such as TwitPic to upload photos that are then linked to their tweets. It was at this point that I began to realise that Twitter uncannily resembles Facebook with its popular photo album feature.

Twitter, like Facebook, is also very addictive when you begin clicking on your followers’ Twitter profiles and I find it difficult to stop hopping from one Twitter profile to the next, and, just like Facebook, Twitter also appeals to one’s voyeuristic side (reading what others are doing at all times of the day is actually kind of creepy when you think about it).

But many will argue that it’s not Twitter emulating Facebook, but rather Facebook copying Twitter with Facebook’s recent implementation of its ‘What’s on your mind’ status feature for users’ profiles.

Either way, it seems to me as if the social networking universe is heading towards the direction of becoming a homogenous entity and I begin to wonder as to whether there will even be a need for people to have separate accounts on each of these services in the future. It seems as if we are evolving to a point with regard to the web where using just one social network should have all the features we need. Now I just need to figure out as to whether I should cancel my Facebook profile or Twitter profile.

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chatterbox 10 years ago

I've recently been introduced to Nimbuzz ( which allows for converged multiple social network chat, meaning you can chat to all your facebook, twitter, msn chay, yahoo chat frineds etc) through one application. This application basicallly stream messages & contacts from all social networking programs to allow you to use one application to connect with all your social network friends, and is available via a web, pc, mac & mobile platform. I think its the future of online social networking.