This week is going to be remembered as the first week that Facebook really started to try to be Twitter
Following Twitter’s popular explosion in early 2009, Facebook quickly began emulating some of Twitter’s key features, like emphasis on status updates and more public content, culminating in Monday’s announcement of the implementation of real-time search. On that same day, blogs and media were abuzz with the news that Facebook had purchased social-sharing aggregator FriendFeed. And now, this little something started popping up on some users’ home pages last night:You have been selected as a beta tester for Facebook Lite!
We are building a faster, simpler version of Facebook that we call Facebook Lite. It’s not finished yet and we have plenty of kinks to work out, but we would love to get your feedback on what we have built so far.
Check out Facebook Lite now at http://lite.facebook.com.
If Facebook’s nearly $50 million combination cash and stock purchase
of FriendFeed didn’t make Twitter want to keep a closer eye on Facebook than ever before, Facebook Lite should do the trick.
Though many users are reporting on Twitter that literally nothing happens when they accept the invitation to try out Facebook Lite, screenshots of the service have already started to trickle in from the users that have indeed gotten it to work.
Basically, right now it appears to be a news feed exclusively for status updates. Like regular status updates on Facebook, users can comment on the updates, something that Twitter does not yet have implemented. Furthermore, it seems that users can either just write something (no word on if Facebook is going to copy Twitter’s SMS-inspired 140-character limit), post photos, or post videos. Navigating away from the wall/feed will bring users to a (likely limited) profile, friends list, or photos/videos page.
When we reported about Facebook’s acquisition of FriendFeed
, we asserted multiple times that the purchase sent a very clear and competitive message to Twitter. The stage for a serious battle was set.
With Facebook so quickly rolling out, even in beta, a service that so far looks to be an incredibly transparent emulation of Twitter on the Facebook platform (with the exception of the ability to comment on updates), we just went from setting the stage to starting the fight in about 24 hours.
This story will be updated if either Facebook or Twitter officially responds to the new service.