Are status updates on social media sites a form of microblogging?

Microblogging services like Jaiku or Twitter, which recently passed its 1 billionth tweet (via Media Culpa), are immensely popular, and some even say they’ll completely take over from regular blogs.

But what is the definition of a microblogging service? Does it need to be focused/dedicated to microblogging, or can it be a social media site having a microblogging component? The question arose at SIME, where Andie Nordgren posed a question from the audience: Is Facebook the world’s largest microblogging service?
Net Jacobsson, Director of International Business Development at Facebook, hasn’t thought of status updates as microblogging, and I guess that’s quite understandable as it’s not their focus.

What do you think? Are status updates on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn a form of microblogging? On which services do you actively update your status, and what kind of information do you put there? Give us your comments!


Web veteran, journalist, blogger since 1998, loves creativity and originality, photography and her family. [More]

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8 Responses

  1. Anton says:

    Of course status updates on social networks like Facebook or Linkedin are a type of microblogging. But, and this is quite important, is status updates not the same as microblogging services like Twitter or Jaiku. The context matters and the social updates on Facebook or Linkedin doesn’t necessary fit in a Twitter- or Jaiku context.

  2. Anton: What’s confusing is if we’re talking about microblogging and some people are thinking about updating your Facebook status while others are thinking about Twitter or other dedicated microblogging services. I think your point about the context makes a lot of sense, and that’s why I’d like to exclude Facebook/LinkedIn status updates from the definition. But perhaps I am thinking too much like a publisher now. : )

  3. Anton says:

    Lotta, exactly. It might be the same social object, but probably not the same social network.

    I think Jaiku/Twitter gives another type of social network/microblogging overall. This is proven by the fact that Twitter and Jaiku have really different types of discussions, social connections etc just because how they’re designed. Facebook isn’t designed to be a microblogging tool and therefore it isn’t.

  4. Andie: Thanks for setting me straight about you posing the question out of your own curiosity and it not being one from the audience.

    You mention an important thing that separates status updates from microblogging posts – the latter have permalinks, which makes it possible to reference to each post, and also they are accessible for a longer period of time. If I were to define microblogging I’d like to include a need for permalinks in the definition, just like we require that of regular blogs.

  1. November 28, 2008

    […] Whether status updates on social media sites should count as microblogging or not, the walled garden that Facebook still is to a large extent, makes status updates if not useless from a publishing perspective then atleast difficult to accommodate as they are on an open to all site. The same goes for users whose updates are not public on regular microblogging services. For crowdsourcing, feedback and research they are still good tools. […]

  2. December 13, 2008

    […] has been an ongoing debate on whether status updates should be qualified as form of micro blogging. Twitter, one the first […]

  3. July 24, 2009

    […] has been an ongoing debate on whether status updates should be qualified as form of micro blogging. Twitter, one the first […]

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