October 13, 2010

Facebook vs Twitter: battle of the shares [graph]

It sounds like the start to a (bad) joke “what’s more influential a tweet or a like?, but it’s a debate that’s pretty rife amongst social media geeks.

So using the analytics from the 7 million+ people who watched the recent Federer trick-shot viral (made by @Rubber_Republic and @HillandKnowlton) we thought we’d share some tasty Facebook vs Twitter insight:

Facebook vs Twitter

Interesting nuggets to pick out from these numbers are:

– Facebook drives more volume than Twitter: according to these numbers, Facebook drove nearly 50 times more views than Twitter – a hugely significant difference: 1.5 million views compared to 32,000 views.

– Facebook has twice the conversion rate than Twitter: and Facebook is twice as influential as Twitter, with Facebook generating (on average) 9 views per share, compared to 4 views per tweet on Twitter.

– “Strong ties” drive greater virality than “weak ties”: by this we mean that the close personal connections on Facebook (“strong ties”) seemed to drive greater levels of sharing (virality) than the more informal acquaintance-based connections on Twitter (“weak ties”)

– Shelf-life: Popular content can linger in a person’s “Top news” feed on Facebook for up to 48 hours whilst also giving you the real-time sharing benefits of Twitter in “most recent.” Tweets are dead after an hour (study: 71% of Tweets are ignored, just 6% retweeted).

Additional insight that isn’t revealed by the infographic above is linked to platform performance. 17% (1,258,812 million views) of the Federer viral’s views came via a mobile device. Although we don’t know what exact percentage of these Twitter clients brought in vs Facebook, it is Twitter’s popularity on mobile devices (46% of Twitter users access the service through a mobile) that puts it in better stead than Facebook as more people adopt smartphones and video viewing behaviours change.

Whilst Facebook has an edge with embeds on desktops/laptops the use and requirement of embedded media is also lessened on certain mobile devices. This is where perhaps Twitter makes up ground on platforms such as Apple’s IOS4, where videos on Facebook news feeds can’t be viewed as convenient embeds due to its flash incompatibility.


By @adamabnab and ChrisQ