Facebook has unveiled a new product called Signal. The product is the latest development in Facebook’s attempt to compete with Twitter, specifically for use by journalists. They hope that the possibility of reaching Facebook’s 1.5 billion users will draw more journalists to use Facebook as a primary reporting media.
The benefit of Twitter remains that it is in real time and updated to the second. In the case of live events, say a football game or presidential debate, Twitter has the advantage of being able to “live-tweet” so users can follow along. This benefit can not be understated because it is what makes Twitter so unique. Live tweeting allows users to make a solitary action, like watching a TV show, into a community event where you can find out what other people are thinking, make funny quirks, and let your opinion be known.
I have found that trying to learn about a recent event has been easier through Facebook than Twitter. Once you click on a headline, you are shown comprehensive (more so than you could fit into 140 characters) details and given links to articles talking about it. This is similar to the “Top” section of a Twitter search, but with less clutter and a more consistent message.
The biggest question I had from reading this article was if people are getting tired of 140 characters. Facebook has done a great job of condensing a trending topic or story into a headline that inspires reading more. In our generation of 6 second videos and micro-blogging, the challenge is making content comprehensive.
I’m excited to see where it goes next.