That is a very hard question to answer. They each offer some advantages and disadvantages. However, their essentials are pretty similar once you dig deep.
Do they matter a lot? Well, in this world, having a profile or the minimum presence on every social network seems to be a must, but I personally use Twitter and closed my Tumblr couple of years ago.
They are both blogging platforms. In short, Twitter is technically a micro blog, and Tumblr is one of the best, if not the best photo blogging platform out there. Blogging is a community activity. It is an act of putting your words out into the world and telling others to come check them out –sharing your thoughts, opinions, and vision with the world.
Without that sense of community the blog is not living up to its purpose.
Both Twitter and Tumblr are very similar in a lot of ways. In case you still haven’t signed up to either, or your are guessing which one to sign up to, or you just want to know what are the similarities and contrasts between both, I hope the below will help you figure it out.
Twitter & Tumblr
• Real Time – What you type immediately goes out into the world. The same goes for people that you are following. This is very cool but might be a drawbacks on each platform. I will explain this more in much more detail below.
• Followers & Following – Both systems are based off the idea of you following accounts (called handles on Twitter) to hear what they have to say and others follow you in return.
• Wide Angle on Humanity – There are hundreds of millions of users on each site. Twitter is more popular but Tumblr also has quite a few people.
• Reblog/Retweet – Both sites rely quite a bit on passing on what other people have to say (I personally find it a great, easy, effective, and efficient way to re-share and spread out information).
• 140 characters – The defining element of Twitter… A brief thought, a funny joke… Every tweet has a hard limit. You can do stuff over multiple tweets but based off how Twitter works this can be problematic because part of the message might be missed along the way.
• One thought/tweet – your tweet can consist of words, numbers, and links, it can also have image or video attachments, but given the 140 limitation and given that you can only attach one object, you are limited to one thought, in almost 99% of your tweets.
• Multiple media types – Text, Photos, Quotes, Links, Chat logs, Audio, and video are all up for grabs. On Tumblr you get a little mini blog and you can put whatever you want on it.
• Visual Focused – reblogging pictures is generally the biggest thing on Tumblr. Other media are represented but pictures and memes are king in the land of Tumblr.
• Repetition – Expect to see more repetition on Tumblr. If someone reblogs a funny picture you will often see it many more times from other people you follow. Think of it as a big dinner party where everyone has cameras and instant printers. You might first see the picture on one side of the room and then encounter it 3 or 4 more times by the time you hit the other side. Due to this fact Tumblr seems to be more insular than twitter.
• Each post is more of a living document – you can add on a comment to anything you reblog on Tumblr. Due to this fact everyone can continue to add comments to a funny image, etc and sometimes this can grow into something that is greater than its individual parts.
It is generally easier to get followers on Twitter. Part of that is based off the increased number of users. Part of it simply comes from the nature of Twitter.
I really appreciate both and love Twitter a little more.
If you are interested in reaching out into new social media platforms, I honestly suggest you check out both. They are both fascinating windows into humanity and great fun. However, if you simply don’t have the time and only want to pick up one I have a super simple suggestion for you: If you are more of a visual person you will probably like Tumblr more. Otherwise, go with Twitter. Just remember that both are in real time and things move very quickly on both.
Log in, soak in the humanity, and log out. That is pretty much the core of both.
Bilal Hallab is General Manager & Head Social Business Strategist of The Social Clinic. Follow Bilal on Twitter & Instagram for more social media goodies!