Battle of the Social Networks: Facebook, Formspring, and Twitter.

Sam is a 15-year-old from Montgomery, NJ. She enjoys playing tennis, writing and Community Service. Her favorite subject in school is History.

While Facebook is the biggest social networking site on the planet with more members than the entire population the United States, other social networking sites such as the celebrity-adored Twitter and the up-and-coming Formspring are catching on fast. So which site will come out on top? I compared the three sites in different categories.

Concept:

Facebook: Like a cleaner, safer, more Ivy-League version of MySpace (Mark Zuckerberg, its creator, attended Harvard). However, there are limits to how many friends and groups you can add, and expect frequent, slightly annoying layout changes, and the complaints that follow (“LIKE OMG I HATE THE NEW FACEBOOK!!!”)

Formspring: A question-and-answer site that allows people to ask you questions, either under a screen-name or anonymously. A pretty innovative idea that’s received a significant amount of controversy for its anonymity…maybe too much controversy, as there have been reports of fights and suicides due to cyberbullying.

Twitter: Similar to the status feature of Facebook, but choose your words carefully, as it’s a 140 character limit. Celebrities LOVE this site, too! Can be addictive, but can also be a bit dull compared to the other two.

The Winner: Facebook

Individuality of Profiles:

Facebook: Add every application, group, and fan page you want, and feel free to alter your personal interests, general info, and even your name. On the other hand, you better get used to royal blue and white, because it’s the only background you can use.

Formspring: Add a background (yes!) and a profile picture, and change your location, your greeting, and the name that pops up in searches. But the only application you have is the big white box on the page. In addition, they also give a limit to your bio.

Twitter: As for backgrounds, put whatever you want, like a Formspring. Also like Formspring, you might have to keep your bios short and eliminate any chance of using your favorite Facebook apps.

The Winner: Facebook

Interacting with People

Facebook: There are the basics of any social networking site: the Wall, the Inbox, the Chat, the Status. Maybe the people at Facebook need to do something more creative with these basics and make sure they’re always working (so I don’t scream at my little chat box every time something doesn’t send)?

Formspring: If you want to share inside jokes, make a complement to someone outside your social circle, or get the guts to complement that guy or girl you’ve had a crush on, here’s a chance to do it without embarrassment. However, this site may give people who don’t have the nerve to tell someone off a little bit more confidence than they should.

Twitter: The only thing that seems to be connecting you and your friends is pressing the Shift and 2 keys, then writing a screen-name. Between that and re-tweeting your friends’ posts, there doesn’t seem that much to do.

The Winner: Formspring

The Celebrity Factor

Facebook: Most celebrities have “fan pages” where you can “like” their page, statuses, photos, and write on their wall. Some of these pages are intertwined with their Twitter pages. However, there are many pages for certain celebs, so it can be difficult to figure out which ones are the official profiles.

Formspring: Celebrities have appeared to avoid this social network. I could only picture how many hate messages certain celebrities will get if they made one.

Twitter: Celebrities are addicted to Twitter as they are with dieting and exercising. Certain celebrities (even B-listers and has-beens) have grown their fan bases because of Twitter. Oh, and there is definitely a bigger chance of your favorite celebrity replying to your tweet. However, some celebs like to abuse Twitter with misspelled rants or TMI tidbits (Spencer Pratt and John Mayer, this means you!)

The Winner: Twitter

There are many aspects of Facebook, Formspring, and Twitter that work as great tools in this crazy world of social networking. While Twitter may be the best for keeping up with your favorite stars, Formspring is better if you want to boost your confidence on the Internet. However, these two sites do not compare with the behemoth that is Facebook. With a great concept and tons of individuality, Facebook is truly the best social network out there.

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