Embedding: Facebook vs. Twitter


Yesterday, Facebook announced that it will allow embedding of statuses and pictures on third-party websites.  This appears to be a direct challenge to embedding tweets, which has been available for a little over a year and a half.  The purpose behind making embedded tweets possible was that in addition to viewing them on other websites like a simple screen shot would provide, users could reply, retweet, or favorite tweets without having to leave the page they were on.  This allowed Twitter to have a more ubiquitous presence around the web without requiring users to always be on the actual Twitter website.

Facebook has now announced that they too will begin allowing this functionality for statuses and pictures, once again leaning toward connecting strangers rather than existing acquaintances.  For now, Facebook will only be testing the functionality with a few sites: Bleacher ReportCNN,The Huffington PostMashable and People.  The plan, however, is to allow all other sites to start embedding in the coming months.  One big difference between the two embedding functions will be that any embedded tweets still be limited to 140 characters or less while Facebook statuses can have as many as 63,206.

It is important to note that there were already ways to embed Facebook posts using third-party tools, but the built-in feature makes it easier and more accessible for a much wider base of users. Embedding posts is an easy way to pull traffic from another website into your social media network.  Enabling this functionality is good for the users, but it’s especially good for social networks, giving them a direct way to draw more traffic to their site simply by making user content more easily accessible.

Facebook has more than twice as many users as Twitter, but lately the changes that have been implemented seem to be making Facebook more like Twitter than ever before.  We have to wonder; is Facebook waging an all out war against Twitter?

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