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APPLES AND ORANGES

One chart that shows why comparing Facebook and Twitter is a pointless exercise

By Leo Mirani

Reporter

This article is more than 2 years old.

If you look at it in terms of design, either Facebook is turning into Twitter or Twitter is turning into Facebook. But by almost every other metric, the two companies remain entirely unlike each other.

Just how different they are came into sharp relief when Twitter published its IPO prospectus last year. Five years into each company’s existence, Facebook far outpaced Twitter on pretty much every metric that matters: quarterly revenue, monthly active users, and average revenue per user.

A new report from the GSM Association, a trade body for mobile operators, adds another metric: content shared.

GSMA
Global social media users and content shared per day.

The amount of new material added by Facebook users everyday dwarfs the number of tweets churned out by Twitter users. More notably, Twitter’s users produce significantly less content per person than they do when they’re on Facebook.

One reason could be that people use Twitter to follow while they use Facebook to share. Twitter seems okay with this: Adam Bain, Twitter’s boss of revenue, told CNBC last month that “It’s actually something we’re happy to support. If anything we need to make it clear that you can use Twitter without tweeting.”

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