If you can’t buy them, then co-opt them! That seems to be the Facebook attitude towards Twitter.
Facebook plans release a feature over the next few days that lets administrators of Facebook Pages push out status updates directly to Twitter, the company said in a blog post today. With the new feature, Facebook Page administrators can choose to either syndicate all their status updates to Twitter or select certain updates to publish.
Administrators in charge of multiple Facebook Pages will also be able to link each Page to different Twitter accounts. The release of this new feature signals that the social network has decided to utilize Twitter as alternative communication channel, but at the same time, it’s also a ruse to keep people on its site.
“Twitter was a natural next step to link with Facebook Pages because it is a powerful tool for broadcasting short messages widely,” wrote Michael Gummelt, a Facebook summer intern who developed the feature, in the blog post.
Yet relations between Facebook and Twitter aren’t as harmonious as it seems. As Justin Smith at Inside Facebook points out, the move “could potentially make Facebook one of the largest sources of updates on Twitter.” Plus, this move has been a long time coming after Facebook failed to purchase Twitter last year. Facebook rolled out a series of features that mimicked several Twitter functionalities this spring. And just last week, the social network went one step further by acquiring FriendFeed last week, which essentially brought many Twitter-like capabilities in-house.