Twitter is a social media service, without any doubt, but the micro-blogging site prefers to describe itself in much fancier terms on its website: “Twitter is your window to the world. Get real-time updates about what matters to you.”
Therefore, some of its executives do not like being referred to as just “social media,” which Facebook did, believing the social networking giant tried to avoid using its name in news updates as they are rivals.
Facebook does not like Twitter?
For example, reporting a recent public squabble between rapper B.o.B. and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Facebook phrased it as “Astrophysicist Responds to B.o.B.’s Social Media Posts Regarding Earth’s Shape.” Those posts were made on Twitter, but from Facebook’s news item, it seems that it does not like using Twitter’s name.
According to a Buzzfeed report, Twitter COO Adam Bain disliked that Facebook almost always refers to it as just “social media” in its trending news section, and he finally took to Twitter to call out Facebook.
On seeing Buzzfeed’s post, Bain got a bit more furious and further criticized Facebook, tweeting, “Asked why Trending refers to Twitter as ‘Social Media,’ they couldn’t answer bc their system removes it.”
Not done intentionally?
Buzzfeed asked a Facebook spokesperson about the alleged name swap, to which he replied, “Trending topic descriptions and summaries are written with the goal of making sure that the topic is clear and well-summarized, so that people get an accurate summary of the news event quickly.”
Clarifying, Facebook representatives said there is no automatic “find and replace” feature that turns “Twitter” into “social media.” The spokesperson said an algorithm identifies topics that are highly popular on Facebook, and the company’s trending algorithm or policies do not have anything that excludes “Twitter” or related terms.
The Facebook representative added that the company has a review team that writes the topic descriptions, and they do get some things wrong at times. And the company continuously works on improving trending topics on the platform. In Facebook’s defense, it can be said that it occasionally refers to some of its posts as coming from “social media.”
Nevertheless, this will surely fuel the rivalry between the two as just last week, Facebook hired Twitter’s product head Kevin Weil to work for Instagram.