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SXSW: Loic Le Meur Bridges Facebook and Twitter

Posted by: Douglas MacMillan on March 15, 2009

Two years after Twitter’s coming-out party here at Austin’s South by Southwest festival, the white-hot microblogging company is skipping the event altogether. Evan Williams and Biz Stone, who head up Twitter, decided to take a rain check.

And so the limelight has shifted to entrepreneurs like Loic Le Meur, who has created two third-party applications that allow Twitter users to better organize and view their tweets, Seesmic and Twhirl. Today, Le Meur announced a new version of his Seesmic desktop client that will allow users to similarly track their friends’ updates on Facebook.

This is the first time that Facebook, the world’s largest social network, has opened up its feeds to a desktop application. Following on the tail of the site’s launch of new home pages that prominently feature a real-time news feed, this move represents another step towards the company more directly competing with Twitter.

But why not have the best of both worlds? By the end of March, Le Meur will make available an updated version of Seesmic that combines Twitter and Facebook status updates. The program will be called Seesmic – which means the entrepreneur is effectively killing off the Twhirl brand.

And some time in the next six weeks, Le Meur tells BusinessWeek, we’ll see a Seesmic application for the iPhone.

In this video, Le Meur discusses his plans and answers the question: Are Facebook and Twitter on a collision course?

Loic Le Meur from Doug MacMillan on Vimeo.

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Reader Comments


March 16, 2009 11:02 AM

Who cares about Twitter. It a total waste of time finding out what the person is doing now! ha ha ha just use your cellphone text message has it same thing doing that. Twitter is a total waste of garbage. It wont last long. It also a way for Stalkers to follow you???? :) I rest my case...

Andrew Finkle

March 16, 2009 12:05 PM

Perhaps you can paint me naive, but I just do not see Facebook and Twitter on a collision course. Do they both offer 'status' updates in real time? Yes, but competitors? no.

I like to think Twitter is my New business card, Linkedin my new resume - and Facebook my one stop repository for everything everywhere else.

Bob Wan Kim

March 16, 2009 12:16 PM

Collision course implies an impending conflict. The conflict occurred as soon as twitter was dreamed up by ev and biz. Twitter forces each user to be terse, concise. Twitter gets the point across instantly. Blogs and forums can't compete with that.

Facebook with its feature rebuttal may keep the mainstream away from twitter. But twitter will always be the home of the social (media) elite. - @journik

Jim Preston

March 16, 2009 02:01 PM

We're using Twitter in the world wine community just fine. It is a convenient biz to biz, biz to consumer, consumer to biz, and consumer to consumer platform. We don't care about the "What are you doing?" question. We post what our audience is interested in, just like all media, businesses, and friends have always done.

Skii's comments above are mostly correct - if you don't understand how to use Twitter as a useful tool that is relevant to you and your activities.


March 16, 2009 04:55 PM

Gosh, we need more people with deep insights like Skii. "Total waste of garbage," is priceless!


March 26, 2009 03:12 AM

To better understand Loic's point of view:

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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