In Twitter’s internal strategy documents published by Techcrunch, it’s pretty clear that Twitter sees Facebook as competition. Not only is the company racing to 1 billion users but they are also trying to determine ways that Facebook could kill them. We’ve been discussing the Twitter/Facebook battle since the beginning of the year when we suggested Facebook could kill Twitter.
Facebook is also clearly looking into ways to get rid of the Twitter threat and right now they are also testing out their own internal program to distribute status updates to Twitter. In the flick of the switch, all public status updates could effectively overload Twitter’s service in theory. Who knows what the real purpose of integration with Twitter is but it’s clear that the battle is on (and has been for this whole year).
There’s an entire strategy lined out in Erick Schonfeld’s post about how to defend against the Facebook threat which is becoming an increasing one despite Twitter’s ongoing growth. Twitter is even considering creating a “Twitter Developers fund” to compete with the fbFund, one of the primary tools Facebook uses for keeping developers coming to the platform.
One thing Twitter doesn’t discuss in their competitive strategy however is creating a groups functionality to compete with Pages, something that I think Twitter could benefit from greatly. Despite the lack of a clear vision, the company is looking to push toward the 1 billion user mark while increasing revenue per user per year up to $1. Right now, $4 million for the year, or less than $0.25 per user appears to be even questionable.
The company is also exploring various revenue models, none of which are really a surprise except for a potential payments platform and a potential adsense-like product. Their biggest weakness though: the inability to support a billion users and perhaps even less. This is potentially what Facebook could be looking to do by promoting Twitter with built in integration.
While this battle will continue to play out over the next year, it’s clear that both companies have their sights on each other. The only question that it leaves me asking is: what are they missing while they are competing against one another?