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Stephen Logan

Facebook Goes Lite to Challenge Twitter

12th Aug 2009 Social Media, Facebook, Social Media, Social Media, Twitter 2 minutes to read

It didn’t take long did it? No sooner had Facebook snapped up FriendFeed than they incorporated their live feed style in a ‘Lite’ version.

This stripped down Facebook is only currently available to a selection of Beta testers, of which I am not one, and is offering a service not too dissimilar to Twitter or FriendFeed. The rolling feed of news from contacts isn’t interrupted with irritating applications and endless tabs; just a stripped down communication portal.

The similarity that this new platform has with FriendFeed further suggests that Facebook have either been in cahoots with them for some time or have been developing their own systems that closely mirrors the former rival’s site; necessitating the need for a purchase to avoid blatant patent infringement.

Suspicions aside, this certainly looks like an extremely interesting development and one that the rest of the social networking world will be watching with interest. Of course, the ones who will be sweating over this most have to be Twitter. With a near identical infrastructure coupled with Facebook’s added facilities (photos and videos onsite as an example), extra characters and of course its worldwide appeal (forth biggest site remember), this has to be seen as a direct challenge to Twitter.

Bebo too won’t be best pleased that this is hogging the limelight once more. Having pioneered the  social media aggregator earlier on this year, this comes along. Bebo Lifestream is a clever package that effectively channels all of your social media activities through this single hub. Unfortunately, Bebo is very much a younger persons social networking platform, thus catering for a whole different audience to Facebook – which is far more universal.

Facebook almost have the Google-factor in social media at the moment. Whatever changes they make, however they choose to develop their product, it all seems to work. It has continually grown over the past couple of years and is now the runaway leader in the social field. This means that they have the numbers in place to dominate smaller – but also highly successful in their own right – sites like Twitter and Bebo.

Lite hasn’t yet gone fully live, although the search features already seem to be changing to incorporate friend’s discussions as well as the standard people search. Social aggregation is certainly an interesting area though at the moment, so there is hope for Bebo yet; but with the all-consuming might of Facebook as it stands, they appear better placed to dominate that market soon too.

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