Facebook Copies Twitter’s Real-Time Stream

Facebook may be the worlds largest social network, but the platform still needs great ideas to stay competitive . So where are they finding those ideas? Just about everywhere, including Twitter – their semi-competitor.

This week Facebook launched “Ticker”, their real-time activity stream that mirrors Twitter’s user experience. Ticker is located on the right-hand side of Facebook users profiles and displays friends activity in Twitter’s ticker style. When users hover over their friends’ activity, they are presented with the opportunity to view the full story or join a friend’s conversation as it happens.

The company launched this feature to give users a more complete picture of what their friends are doing in real-time. The Ticker includes live stories—things like status updates, friendships, photos, videos, links, likes and comments.Facebook Copies Twitter

Hopefully this is not a feature users find annoying because you can’t close Ticker. Users can hide the ticker, make it smaller or control the length of the  feature – but they can’t close it. They can also hide some stories that appear in the ticker which will be visible when viewing their own profiles, business pages or a friend’s profile.

Is this a great Facebook update for businesses?
This is great if you have a page on the network for promoting your business because every time your supporters interact with your page or apps, their friends will know and hopefully follow suit. Facebook Page Likes, App Share, App usage, and Sponsored Stories are  all eligible to appear in Ticker for others to see. For example, if you developed a game app for Facebook to generate interest in your business or ideas, Apps can publish stories to announce that your subscribers are using or playing with your app (Ex: “Joe is playing Farmville”).

There are two valuable takeaways from all of this –
1. You’ve gotta keep innovating to stay relevant and competitive even if you are an industry leader.
2. It’s always okay to copy a good idea — the big guys do it all the time.

Never re-invent a wheel!