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Poll: Facebook Has More Real Friends Than Twitter

Facebook scissors tweet

Several months ago, a poll by Denmark-based Red Associates concluded that Facebook users aren't the friendliest. But a new survey by Stanford's Andreas Weigend finds that Facebook is at least a far friendlier social network than Twitter.

According to the study, Twitter users have not physically met 48.2% of the people following them. Facebook, conversely, provides a far more personal atmosphere, with users of its social network having physically met more than 88% of their friends. Moreover, 68.1% of respondents cited "friends" as the main driver for them to join Facebook (though this may be more related to peer pressure). Perhaps this reaffirms why you have "followers" on Twitter and "friends" on Facebook—you're much more likely to have actual "friends" on the latter service.

Indeed, on scale of 1 to 5 of how personal the social networks are, with 1 being the the most personal, respondents ranked Facebook an average of 2.58. Respondents considered Twitter far less personal, rating it 4.09 on average.

"[This] implies that we are probably a lot more easygoing with adding strangers on Twitter than on Facebook," says Chuanyang Chee, who assisted Weigend in the survey, and believes this is likely an issue of privacy. After all, Facebook users share loads of personal data and pictures, whereas on Twitter you rarely share more than 140 characters—friending members on Facebook isn't as inconsequential as adding another follower on your Twitter account.

So perhaps this confirms comments by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, who said recently, "We're not a social network—that's been a myth since the beginning."

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  • thoughts dot com

    I completely agree with you here. FB is more friend to friend and Twitter is for micro-blogging. I also think with Twitter, you share a lot less of your private information and this makes people feel okay letting someone follow them or follow someone who they may not know. I have met a lot of helpful people on Twitter that I am glad I stumbled across.

    Sharon Baumeyer

  • Ronnie

    People aren't developing better friendships because of Facebook. In fact, my personal observation is that people's communication is becoming more impersonal, and irresponsible due to perceptions about Facebook privacy; same with Twitter.

    Either way, I shut down my Facebook account and kept my Twitter, because I've chosen to participate in a life that exists in the real world, rather than the pseudo-existence on interwebs. I simply pop in to Twitter for news updates, and occasional personal tweets about random things.

  • Brad Officer

    FB is more friend to friend and Twitter is more micro-blogging to the world. I see less SPAM on FB than on Twitter.