Social media siblings Facebook and Twitter have traditionally both held their own cyber spaces, but increasing demand from both users and the digital industry alike has meant that the services they offer are becoming increasingly similar.

Over the years there have been a number of copycat tactics employed by both sides. Earlier this month the digital rumour mill went into overdrive with speculation that Twitter may be increasing its signature character limit to compete with Facebook. In 2014, Twitter underwent a significant redesign of their desktop interface which was heavily inspired by the Facebook profile and last year Twitter uncapped the length of private messages.

Facebook has always been a great home for storing memories – sharing holiday snaps, logging milestones (first pet, new job, updated relationship status) and the obligatory sharing of videos featuring cute and cuddly babies and animals. 

Twitter on the other hand has always been a social network for the here and now.  It has firmly established itself as one of the key catalysts for second screening.  Second screening is the use of a mobile device while watching TV, a practice which can be used to connect with other viewers and get additional information about the show.  Second screening has been a great opportunity for brands to join the discussion and show a lighter side to their business. For marketers this is a great opportunity to engage with customers or reach out to a new audience.

Second screening, while a relatively new concept, has already established itself in mainstream media with the majority of TV programmes now having a Twitter presence and an official hashtag for the audience to interact with. From Great British Bake-Off to Doctor Who to the Rugby World Cup, second screening provides a great opportunity to involve yourself or your business in conversations of global proportions.

Facebook on the other hand haven’t yet ventured into the world of real time events, and that seems to be one of their key ambitions in 2016. Last year, they announced that celebrities would have access to a feature allowing them to live stream from their devices, introduced largely as a response to live video platforms Meerkat and Twitter’s Periscope.

For the rest of us, Facebook will be soon rolling out a new feature allowing users to connect for sporting events.  The Facebook Sports stadium has been described as a stand-alone app that will connect over 650 million sports fans across the world.  Facebook will blend their existing experience of sharing content from your friends with live scores, stats, posts from journalists and other key players making it a very interesting proposition.

Facebook Sports Stadium

Today we’re launching the Facebook Sports Stadium, a dedicated place to experience sports in real-time with your friends and the world. Check out our product announcement here: http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/01/facebook-sports-stadium With 650 million sports fans, Facebook is the world’s largest stadium. People already turn to Facebook to celebrate, commiserate, and talk trash with their friends and other fans.Now we’ve built a place devoted to sports so you can get the feeling you’re watching the game with your friends even when you aren’t together.

Posted by Sports on Facebook on Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Initially, Facebook will focus on American football games on iOS devices but have already unveiled plans to broaden this to include other sports and additional devices. If successful, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the concept rolled out for other must-see global television events such as the Oscars, Elections and much more.