Posted by Frank - Follow me on Twitter

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After reading a post by Jesse Newhart about Why Is Facebook Trying To Be Twitter? and then talking to my friend about this article…I was given a really interesting outlook on this topic.  What that outlook was is, would there be a Twitter if it wasn’t for Facebook? Now this could go in a variety of directions, but before I get into this topic completely, I want to make a few points.

I have noticed that many people don’t like the new Facebook theme.  I personally don’t have a problem with it and I like it better than the previous one.  I felt like it was Facebook’s way of keeping up with their competition.  Other reasons why people don’t like the Facebook theme is because they feel it copies Twitter.  I agree it does, but its interface doesn’t seem user friendly like on Twitter.  This brings me to my second point.  We make a big deal about Facebook copying Twitter, but where would Twitter be without Facebook?  The list could go on and on.  You can continue to say, where would Facebook be without MySpace?  This chain continues further back in time.  I don’t know if I am correct in this assumption, but wasn’t Friendster one of the first social networks?  I can even guarantee that there was probably something before this too, but I just don’t know of it.

Honestly though, I love Twitter, it’s definitely my favorite social network.  Chris Pirillo called a social commons, which is probably more appropriate considering it doesn’t have all the other features of a full blown social network.  Although, the true appeal of Twitter and why I think it is growing so rapidly is due to the fact of how simple it is!  It still doesn’t go without saying that Twitter is very young compared to all the other social networks out there.  Their whole service is based on “status updates.”  If I am not mistaken, Facebook was the first to come up with that idea.  MySpace then started to use it and then Twitter blossomed!

So, in considering all of this…who truly copied who?  I think they all take ideas from each other and only the strong survive.  We can cry and argue about it all we want, but when it comes down to it…ideas are going to be taken when they have been proven to succeed.  Why not implement what works into a different site?  It would only make sense to do so.
Just like operating system wars that go on, it seems we have crossed this path with social networks as well.  I have no problem with it as long as those who write about it take all angles of the topic into consideration.

So now I ask you, who do you believe came first?

Further reading about Social Networks:

Social Networks: Who’s The Top Dog?

Update All Social Networks With One Service – Stats For Social Networks