Twitter has been around for a few years and up till now I’ve never really seen the appeal in using it. In fact I’m pretty sure I’ve mocked Twitter users in an earlier post. And I haven’t been posting very long.

Twitter-ers often suffer being perceived as self absorbed egomaniacs. For the last couple of months though, I’ve been playing around on Twitter to the point where I much prefer it to Facebook. Twitter has a clear identity and a beautiful simplicity about it.

Here are the four main reasons why:

1. Really a friend?

Let’s face facts – Facebook is pretty annoying when it comes to accepting friend requests. Should you accept or shouldn’t you? You haven’t even seen or spoken to this person since school and when you look at their profile and see that they’ve already got over 900 friends… hmm.

(I think you can buy these mats)

Well with Twitter, just because someone starts following you, it doesn’t mean you have to follow them. They can read your tweets but won’t pollute your feed with their stuff unless you follow them too.

With Facebook what you’d probably end up doing is adding them and then blocking them from your feed. Or denying their request and then sitting down opposite them on the tube the following Tuesday.

2. Privacy

Every now and then on Facebook, you are forced to read a mind-numbing conversation between two people that goes something like this:

Hiya hun, how r u?!!!!!1 xx Free for drinkies this Friday??!?? xx

Hi hun, haven spoke to you in aggggeees, I miss u!! Friday I cant do, Im goin pilates!!!!! Its amazing!!! U should so try it!! We shud def hook up soon though!!! I’ve got some news! Love u!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Why this conversation isn’t carried out over SMS, email, phone or other private means is unfathomable.

But I’ll try.

Facebook for most users is about privacy, and after you’ve carefully crafted your privacy settings to be top-secret, you’ll know that everyone that can read your status updates is someone you know.

And if you know them, why wouldn’t they want to read all your stuff, right?

Facebook gets a lot of bad press over its privacy settings because Mark Zuckerberg is trying to make Facebook more open, but this isn’t necessarily what most Facebook users want.

Twitter on the other hand is public by default. You can make Twitter private if you want but I haven’t tried. If you use Twitter with a public mindset, chances are you’ll separate what should be public from what the public should be safe guarded from.

3. A record of all your stuff

Because tweets are limited to 140 characters of text, a lot of tweets are links to other pages like blog posts or interesting articles. I can tweet about every single cool thing I see on the web and can always go back and see a record of all my tweets. You never have to ask yourself what was the name of that youtube video.

OK, it was a bad choice to use the most watched youtube video ever as an example here.

And now saving the best till last…

4. Information vastness

You can follow any other Twitter account that interests you, whether it’s another person, website, company etc. As long as they haven’t made their tweets private or decided to block you. This is great from the point of view of keeping up to date with the latest developments in your field of work for example. Or if you’re interested in a particular topic, you can search across all tweets that contain relevant words for that topic and then save these searches. So you can always find out what’s going on in #AshesCricket or #CryingAussies or #WarneAndHurley.

Ultimately when it comes down to it, Twitter and Facebook serve different purposes, which I think are nicely summarised at the end of this article.

If you think Facebook is annoying, join the birds.