I've recently been experiencing something that I imagine many of you are as well, and found an elegant solution to it.
I use both Twitter and Facebook, and began favoring Twitter more and more in the past year, for its simplicity, focus, ability to more easily connect with and learn from others. Yes, I'm seeing that Facebook has recently become more amenable and useful to businesses and I'm interested to see what possibilities that creates, but we're talking '08 to the present, at the moment.
Seeing how I blossomed on Twitter and how much people enjoyed what I shared on there, it seemed a blessing to learn that there was a Twitter/Facebook client, which allowed my tweets, or status updates, to also show up as my Facebook status updates, everything but those that began with @yourfriend'sname, which are clearly a reply to someone else on Twitter, and would be out of context to those on Facebook.
Great, thought I, now my Facebook friends will be as in the know as those on Twitter, and I don't have to waste time wading through zombie invitations and superpokes.
But it slowly began to make less and less sense to use it.
First it stopped prefacing Twitter generated statuses with "Paul tweeted," making it clear where it came from, and giving it some context. Then I noticed that with tweets that were replies to other Twitter users, but the @theirusername wasn't at the beginning of the tweet, still went to Facebook, probably causing confusion in my FB friends only on that end of the conversation.
Then it all came tumbling down with the recent changes in Facebook, defaulting to a view that, not unlike Twitter, was strictly people's status updates. Now, people who were Facebook only users began to grumble, some loudly, about how much of their home page my tweets now took up.
It was then that realized there is a fundamental difference in the culture of Facebook and Twitter: Whereas on Twitter the status updates are all about the back and forth, the generosity of sharing discoveries, information, tools, and news, Facebook users are accustomed to statuses being updated a few times a day, and being largely about things directly related to the person sharing them.
On Facebook, the "rest of the world" sharing happens elsewhere.
After asking for people's feedback, I decided to pull the plug on the Twitter to Facebook pipeline. Not being in the habit of updating Facebook manually, it just didn't happen. Friends and colleagues wrote, wondering where I was, and missing my updates. Other than cut and pasting specific tweets to Facebook, no simple solution seemed to exist.
Then I found it.
Selective Twitter Status is a Facebook app, created by @AndyY which gives you complete control of which tweets go to Facebook. To start, you enter your Twitter name at the link above, then it adds the STS app to your account. Back on Twitter, all you need do is make sure to end your tweets with #fb (making sure to leave a space between it and the previous word) and your tweet shows up in Facebook, minus that #fb character. Voila, you are now in complete control of what gets communicated on your profile in Facebook, finally making complete sense to your previously befuddled and overloaded Facebook friends.
It's time to unplug your Twitter Facebook app, and use Selective Twitter Status.
Readers: What's been your experience with Twitter/Facebook relations? Do your Facebook friends have no problem with your tweets, as is? Have you asked your Facebook friends about this? What other simple, elegant solutions to social media or other tech problems are you seeing out there? Comment below. You can follow me on Twitter here.
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, blogs weekly on green start ups of note at Triple Pundit and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations about, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media marketing.