Facebook exit strategy, pt1: Twitter

I think I’m bored of Facebook. There, I said it. I’ve spent too long wading through ‘Friend X just added pointless application Y’ notifications. I’ve joined countless groups, getting and giving precisely nothing other than an entry in my newsfeed, and a +1 to their membership total. That’s before we even mention zombies. Or superpoking. Or funwalls.

The only thing keeping me consistently interested has been the status updates. A steady flow of snippets from friends and contacts, which provokes the odd smile, an occasional insight, and regular ‘just so you know’ notes. I’ve got the RSS feed from my Status Updates page running in a sidebar on my desktop, and it’s a cute little thing which makes staring at a monitor all day just a little more bearable.

But I’ve taken the first step away from Facebook, by adding the TwitterSync application – and effectively outsourcing my Facebook status updates to Twitter. I actually signed up to Twitter exactly a year ago (give or take 24 hours), but only now is it entering my daily existence.

The official Twitter app for Facebook has the annoying habit of adding the words ‘is twittering:’ to the start of your Status Update; but TwitterSync doesn’t. I’ve been using it for a week now, and updating both sites simultaneously, and I bet most friends haven’t noticed.

Switching, of course, opens up all sorts of possibilities. I’ve tried numerous different ways to interact with Twitter. For now, my weapons of choice have been the Tweetr desktop application, built using the Adobe Air runtime; and the mobile interface via Opera Mini on my phone. (I quite liked the twibble app for S60 phones, but it only worked for me via wifi.)

And Twitter’s open approach allows for automated interactions. So for example, someone has written some code that sends details of any items in the BBC’s ‘mega stories only’ breaking news RSS feed to a Twitter account. So effectively, the BBC breaking news strap is your friend – and when it has something to say, it appears in your ‘feed’. (The same fella has done one just for Gooners too: cheers!)

Now of course, there are all sorts of reasons not to like Twitter. The jargon can be overwhelming initially; and it’s had reliability issues, not least earlier this week. But I’m now seeing it as the best bit of Facebook, done properly. And I kind of wish more Facebook friends were using it instead. I think that makes me a convert.