Love Me a Monopoly: Explaining a Twitter-Facebook Merger
I'm used to being misunderstood. However, I could have been more clear.
The two companies should merge. Not the two platforms.
In fact, Twitter and Facebook, as we know them, would not change at all.
Both would continue on their current trajectories, run by the same upper-level management. Name Dick Costolo and Mark Zuckerberg co-CEOs of the combined company and division CEO or president at Twitter and Facebook, respectively. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg assumes the same role at both segments.
Yes, this is a crazy idea, but it's a damn good one as well.
It's only crazy because it takes you out of your comfort zone and toys with dozens of egos inside the two companies. While that's enough reason for why it probably won't happen, it's no excuse.
No two companies complement one another better.
A merger is not about messing with either platform. Beyond some smart cross-promotion, nothing should change. It's all about creating efficiencies (I hate that word!) in sales and marketing.
This is hardly a foreign concept.
Think of Twitter as the alternative radio station that plays Mumford and Sons, Muse and The Lumineers. Facebook plays classic rock like Springsteen and Pearl Jam (yeah, that's classic rock now!).
Each "station" has different core and secondary audiences. There's some overlap. User behavior and engagement between the two social networks is distinct enough in many important areas.
Most importantly, Twitter and Facebook serve different purposes.
Zuckerberg has tried to explain this to us, and to General Motors (GM) .
Facebook builds brands. GM should not expect the platform to drive direct sales of motor vehicles. You don't post an ad on Facebook or even promote a Tweet that says, 50% off a Chevy Volt and expect the prospects to come in out of the rain.
As it dives deeper into e-commerce, Facebook generates impulse buys and, if successful, the type of online shopping you do at Amazon.com (AMZN) .
Through initiatives such as classified ads and promote your post for $7, it creates local communities within a massive global platform.
Families. Friends. Games.
That's Facebook, and that's powerful.
While Twitter can do some of most of the above, that's not its bag.
You can build a brand on Twitter, no doubt, but it delivers immediacy.
It's a much simpler and straightforward platform. Twitter really is the modern-day newspaper. It's a daily habit. It's the place a growing number of people go when news breaks.
Twitter, in association with advertisers, has only begun to scratch the surface on how to take advantage of this instantaneity, this relevancy.