Arab World, What’s Better: Twitter or Facebook?


It was a single question, but it sparked a worldwide debate over the weekend, particularly in the Middle East, where both social networking platforms have been used to fuel anti-government protests. Rallies were announced on Facebook, then micro-blogged on Twitter. As the Egyptian government tried to shut down media access to Tahrir Square, the world turned to both Twitter and Facebook for their news source, and we witnessed revolutions, not through news commentators and pundits, but by the protesters themselves. And despite our distance, we were affixed to the fragmented but interconnected messages that documented a revolution.

Although responses generated from all over the world, the Arab world in particular was especially involved in the debate. Read some of their responses:

Egyptian blogger Dalia Ziada, Cairo:

FB is a gated community; Twitter is Grand Central Station at rush hour.”

Google executive Wael Ghonim, Cairo/Dubai:

“Twitter one-way relations makes a lot of people trying to be more unique & less main stream to acquire followers.”

Shaimaa Khalef, Egypt:

“Facebook is where you lie to people you know.  Twitter is where you’re honest to strangers.”

NoonArabia, Egypt/Yemen:

“Facebook keeps you in touch with old friends; Twitter helps you make new ones.”

Daily News Egypt reporter Mai Shams El-Din:

“On Facebook you see people’s faces, on Twitter you see their minds.”

Ahmad El Esseily, Cairo:

“Twitter has acknowledged that there are people that tweet in Arabic while FB is still in denial.”

Amna Amer, Cairo:

“u choose to follow cause ure convinced, fb you have to accept every friend request because otherwise u would be blamed!”

Mohamed Diab, Egypt:

“With Facebook the game ends at 5,000 friends.  On Twitter, the allure of getting more followers never ends.”

Amr S. Iraki, Cairo:

“Twitter, you can talk a lot.  Facebook, if you update your status too much people will think you have no life.”

For inner circles, it looks like Facebook is the platform of choice.  But if you want to spread your message further, Twitter’s influence outweighs by far.

Related Stories:

San Francisco’s BART Shuts Down Cell Service, Fearing Protests

Cameron’s Call To Ban Social Media: Echoes of Mubarak’s Internet Shutdown?

UN Declares Internet a “Fundamental Human Right”


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson6 years ago

Ew. Twitter. I couldn't care less about what people are eating, how many times they took bathroom breaks, or who they are with every second of the day. Yuck. Facebook keeps me in touch with old friends and keeps me up on the news and local businesses. Neither one can sub in for a real life though

dawn w.
Dawn W6 years ago

I'm not on Facebook,seems like a waste of time to me.Love Twitter,though.(@dwveg)

Steve R.
Steve R6 years ago

Facebook or twitter? Neither thanks.

Sharon H.
Sharon H6 years ago

This is off topic and I'm going to post it on every thread today, but several people have told me that they have quit getting the daily Care2 news via their emails. It seems that it's affecting quite a few. My suggestion to them was to subscribe again because that's what I had to do awhile back when it happened to me. If it's happening to a lot of people, we might have to notify the C2 staff so that they're aware of yet another glitch.

carol a.
carol R6 years ago

Facebook is non productive for sharing information world wide. To me this site gives me the opportunity to see what others around the world have to say. I will have to try Twitter again.

Rachel Beckford
Rachel Beckford6 years ago

I like to think I live a pretty full life in the real world without any need for FB or Twitter.

Rebecca S.
Rebecca S6 years ago

interesting but can't say these quotes are true for me about the way I use facebook compared to twitter, mind you my reasons for twitter are mainly business reasons.

Bob P.

interesting thou I use niether of these perhaps I should??

Beverley Phillips

Very interesting article - it's surprising how many people thought that they can be more honest on twitter.

garima a.
garima a.6 years ago

wow quite unanimous, makes me feel like i should try twitter