Facebook Duplicates Twitter, Launches Status Text Updates

Earlier today Facebook turned on a feature to let users receive text updates from public profiles, the same way that Twitter users can receive mobile updates from specified profiles. It’s a small change but for brands it adds a lot of potential. Mobile broadcasting is a huge feature for companies that are looking to reach out to fans directly.

While Facebook hasn’t added a subscription count to a public profile’s insights yet, I would imagine that to be a new measurement within public profile insights in the near future. At this point, there’s little else functionality provided by Twitter that Facebook doesn’t have built in to their public profiles product. The only thing missing is complete access for developers via the API but that functionality is expected to be added in the near future.

The only additional feature that Twitter has built in and Facebook doesn’t is an aggregated “Favorites”
page. Many users have been requesting access to a list of items that they’ve liked but so far Facebook hasn’t added anything. Ultimately it’s a matter of time before Facebook releases the few remaining items. Despite being able to duplicate all of Twitter’s functionality, Facebook has yet to stunt Twitter’s growth.

According to numerous sources Oprah’s show ended up driving over a million new subscribers to Twitter and the buzz only continues to grow. It will be interesting to see if brands decide to take advantage of Twitter and Facebook in the same way. Personally I’ve shifted the majority of my activity to Facebook but then again, I write about Facebook everyday.

Do you think the addition of text message updates from public profiles will drive more users away from Twitter and on to Facebook?

As one commenter has pointed out, this is not limited to public profiles. Users can also subscribe directly to other users’ status updates. This is a significant upgrade by Facebook.