The latest part to Facebook’s open strategy is about to arrive, according to TechCrunch: Users will be able to post to Twitter from their Facebook profiles “at some point this week.” This feature, which some Facebook employees seem to be making use of already, has been a long time in coming.
Twitter’s Facebook application has let its users publish to Facebook for years — so have other third party apps that rely on Twitter and Facebook, ranging from desktop application TweetDeck to Twitter lingo deciphering service Tweetpo.st. However, users have not been able to publish directly to Twitter from their personal Facebook publisher — reportedly where the Twitter integration will be added.
Facebook has let Page owners post to Twitter for months, and it has been testing out a cryptically-named service that allows posting from Facebook, called Penguin FB.
The implications of personal posting to Twitter from Facebook are still not clear. With this move, Facebook is more than ever acknowledging the current value of Twitter as a public broadcast service; but, the feature could be a way for Facebook to co-opt this value, as we’ve written before.
Twitter, by any user count, is much smaller than Facebook’s 350 million monthly active users. Yet it has established itself as a central way to quickly share information online, something that has allowed it to ink content-sharing deals with everyone from MySpace to Google.
If enough people who might one day use Twitter get the same functionality, first, within the much-larger Facebook, it’s possible that Facebook will beat out Twitter in the long-term as the leading public broadcasting service. Twitter’s strong, existing user base is almost certain to continue using Twitter, and perhaps they will help power the site to long-term success despite whatever Facebook does. After all, only a few hundred thousand people use Twitter’s Facebook app every month — certainly a fraction of the number of people who currently use both services.