10 ways Twitter is better than Facebook

Tweeters have more fun

Twitter and Facebook are just about the two most well-known social networks in the world, although it's Mark Zuckerberg's dominant platform that's the clear winner in terms of user numbers and revenue (since the two companies went public).

Twitter is a different kind of platform in many ways though, and a straight-up comparison with Facebook isn't really fair. Here are 10 reasons why we think it's better - and why you should spend more time on it than scrolling through the Facebook News Feed.

1. You can reach your favourite celebrities more easily

Celebs have Facebook pages as well as Twitter feeds of course, but the latter tend to be more intimate, more direct and usually operated by the famous person in question rather than a team of social media managers.

We've got no hard evidence to support this theory but the likes of Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Wayne Rooney tend to be known more for their Twitter accounts than their Facebook ones. And you can tweet straight at them.

2. You don't have to log in

Log in

Want to know what Jeremy Corbyn's up to? Eager to hear the latest from JK Rowling? Click through to those pages and you can read recent updates without being 'friends' with these people or even having a Twitter account.

The same is true on Facebook up to a certain point but Twitter is more public and more easily accessible - information isn't locked away, except on protected accounts, and it makes viewing and sharing much easier.

3. Twitter has lists

Twitter has lists! This means you can curate separate feeds for all the bands you like, or all the people in your family, or a list of Twitter accounts related to work. You don't actually have to follow any of these users either.

Twitter lists can be viewed just like your main timeline and you can even share your lists with other users if you want to. It's one of those features you can find a lot of different uses for once you know it's there.

4. It's better for breaking news

Breaking news

It's well known that Twitter excels at breaking news, which is one of the reasons journalists love it so much - whether it's a celebrity death or a new iPhone, chances are you're going to hear about it on Twitter first.

And of course Twitter is an essential resource as a story unfolds: people react on Twitter, document events with photos and video, spread new information and so on. Meanwhile, reaction on Facebook is much slower.

5. It's less cluttered

Twitter includes links, videos and photos, but it cuts out a lot of the clutter that bloats the Facebook News Feed: we're thinking big photo albums, events, groups, birthdays and all the other extra stuff that Facebook tacks on.

Then there's that 140-character word limit, which means Twitter users are forced to keep their updates brief and to the point - you know you're not going to have wade through a mini-essay from a friend or relative.

6. Twitter is a lot more versatile

More versatile

Another point Twitter has in its favour is its versatility. You can set up accounts for clocks or football clubs or great works of literature or pretty much anything else you can think of, from restaurants to countries.

It's less structured than Facebook and that means more flexibility: you can use it to look for jobs, browse the news, control other apps and services, find answers to questions, share music, bookmark links and more.

7. The power of the hashtag

Facebook also has hashtags but Twitter had them first and makes better use of them: you can use hashtags to find information on a topic, join a local real-time chat conversation, and more much besides.

Whether you're stuck in a traffic jam and want to know why, or would like to connect with others at the same music festival as you, hashtags are your friend - and like the rest of Twitter, they're simple to use.

8. It's better for sports and television

Sports TV

We've already mentioned breaking news and hashtags, and put the two together and you've got an excellent tool for watching the reaction to major sporting events and big television events (Game of Thrones!).

From the football World Cup to the Olympics, from Newsnight to Doctor Who, there's always a busy conversation happening on Twitter if you know the right hashtags, and you can choose to join in or just sit back and watch.

9. It's ephemeral

Who has time to browse through hundreds of old photos? Who wants to be reminded of something they posted in haste four years ago? Nobody and nobody, which is why Twitter's ephemeral nature is another plus.

While your old tweets won't disappear Snapchat-style, going back through the archive is a tedious process, and one that most people won't bother with - Twitter is all about being in the moment, not building up a massive digital archive.

10. There are plenty of useful Twitter add-ons

Add ons

In terms of both quality and quantity, Twitter has an impressive list of add-ons and plug-ins available: you can browse book recommendations, automate your life and get speedy news alerts through the power of Twitter.

Twitter's very own TweetDeck is a great option for power users, and while the number of third-party Twitter clients has declined in recent years, there are still some fantastic ones around (like Tweetbot and Fenix).