There have been a lot of online battles waged by industry bigwigs to dominate the market and gain an even bigger share than what they already have. Apple versus Microsoft, Microsoft against another formidable foe in Google, and Amazon taking on all comers, are among the most celebrated. And now, the fracas that has been raging on for years between social network giants Facebook and Twitter has escalated into a full-scale war.
The Big Tech War
Who will win the social wars and redefine social media as we know it? First, it is important to identify what triggered the all-out open aggression between the protagonists. Some analysts believe that it all boils down on the issue over who tendered which offer for Instagram. Nick Bilton of the New York Times wrote that before Facebook acquired the startup company for a whopping $1B, Twitter sent feelers for a possible purchase. But this only served to fuel more animosity as Kevin Systrom, the Instagram founder, already testified under oath that it was all speculation and that nothing of the sort ever happened.
Be that as it may, the fact is Facebook seems to have won the bidding war over the photo app; and now, the battlefield is open for what could probably be the biggest tech fight the online community has ever seen. All eyes are now glued online in anticipation of the combatants’ next moves.
Who Is Currently Leading?
Being smaller and younger between the two, Twitter, a privately held company, is clearly the big underdog in the matchup. Recent events tend to support this with Facebook scoring points in various fronts such as its successful bid to buy Instagram, and it’s very formidable $57 billion market cap.
But don’t sell Twitter short, at least not just yet. It still has some fight left. For one, it can roll out its own sepia filters that will significantly reduce the capability of Instagram to correctly process photos on Twitter. It can also disable API access to its find-my-friends feature, or even leak bitter details to Nick Bilton. To put it simply, the war is not yet over.
The Ultimate Winner
In similar featured bouts witnessed in the past, the conclusion almost always brought some good for the ordinary consumer. The Apple-Microsoft feud resulted to lower prices, improved operating systems, and fast innovations people would not have otherwise enjoyed without the fierce competition. Likewise, people now enjoy better and smarter phones as a result of Apple’s separate rivalry with Korean upstart Samsung, although the fight sometimes went down to the gutters with patent lawsuits thrown in once in a while.
So far, consumers have yet to see product improvements as a result of the Facebook vs. Twitter war. Fact is, the consumers find themselves on the losing end because the features that provided them the convenience and ease to transition between the two social networks are slowly being removed. Hopefully, in the next few months, after the bickering and mudslinging subside, both Facebook and Twitter will elevate the war into a more productive one, one that will bring better products and services for their millions of users. After all, they are supposed to be in business because of the consumers.