Twitter improves integration in the Facebook news feed

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As noticed by The Next Web this week, Twitter has modified how tweets appear on the Facebook news feed when being sent out to Facebook automatically from a user’s Twitter account. Changes include more in-depth support for Twitter hashtags and usernames as well as media posted to a Twitter page. Assuming that a Twitter user has turned on the flow of tweets to their Facebook user or brand page, hashtags and usernames will populate a link on Facebook. For instance, if a user posts “@digitaltrends” in their Twitter feed, a link to the official Digital Trends Twitter feed will appear below the message on their Facebook feed. 

Facebook to Twitter integrationTwitter communications associate Robert Weeks stated “We have fixed many issues with the Twitter for Facebook integration, including the ability to post to Facebook Pages. The updated Twitter for Facebook integration now includes additional rich media experiences related to the first photo, URL, @mention or #hashtag in the cross-posted Tweet.”

For hashtags, a link is also populated under the message which leads to a Twitter search page of that specific hashtag. When posting a link to an image on Twitter, a thumbnail of the image will now appear on Facebook to give someone else a preview of the media. Ideally, Twitter officials are hoping that this stronger form of social media integration will introduce more Facebook users to Twitter. 

One issue with the new integration is that anyone that’s already enabled Twitter-to-Facebook posting will have to turn off the feature, then turn it back on to authorize more information being pushed out to their Facebook page as well as any Facebook brand pages. However, adding this level of information to the news feed may end up being very helpful for brands that want to expose Facebook fans to different forms of content that are being pushed out to Twitter. 

While Twitter has ultimately strengthened their relationship with Facebook, users of Google+ don’t have the same ability to feed posts out to Facebook due to a different of opinion on information sharing. Facebook’s policy on information sharing is essentially a one-way street as user information flows in, but that data is not allowed to flow out. Alternatively, Google has attempted to adopt a policy of reciprocation, thus allowing data to flow back and forth between services.

Larry Page (Google CEO)This sticking point between the two companies has caused considerably friction. In a recent interview with Google CEO Larry Page on Charlie Rose’s PBS show, Page stated “From a user’s perspective, you say … I’m joining Facebook. I want my contacts. In Google, we said, fine. You can get them from Google. And the issue we had is that then Facebook said, no, Google, you can’t do the reverse. And so we just said, well, users don’t understand what they’re doing. They’re putting data in, and they don’t understand they can’t take it out.”

Page continued “You don’t want to be holding your users hostage. We think it’s important that you as users of Google can take your data, and take it out if you need to, or take it somewhere else.” However, Google likely has more to gain by collecting user information from Facebook than Facebook does be collecting information about Google+ users.

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