CEO Evan Williams on Orthogonality of Twitter and Facebook Status (and is Xumii on track to provide an answer?)

I asked a more detailed version of this question to Evan Williams, CEO of Twitter yesterday morning at the Conversational Marketing Summit (of course, folks also tweeted it all):

@ev I follow Twitter more than FB, some see Tweets only as FB updates. Would be cool if status was write once, read everywhere.

Part of his answer is that there is a technical limitation. Facebook’s API doesn’t currently allow you to get Status out, only to put it in. So it’d be up to Facebook to allow it.

But also, people use status differently on different services.

In fact, someone followed up asking if they couldn’t have an option for some tweets to update their Facebook status and others to leave it alone. @ev indicated that the simplicity of the single text box with few options is a key feature of Twitter that they are reluctant to tinker with.

Why would it be important to selectively update status to different services?

Facebook status updates are conventionally broadcast-only and not updated too frequently. However, folks often comment on status on the poster’s Wall where a public conversation may take place.

Twitter status updates are often broadcast-only and appropriate to update your Facebook status. Other times, they are conversational (a series of @replies), or otherwise too frequent to fit the Facebook convention for status updates. While you might expect to keep up with all your friend’s FB status updates, you are likely to miss things in your Twitter stream — there isn’t yet a good solution to the filtering or prioritizing problem.

This morning I’m off to visit CEO Jennifer Zanich in San Mateo. (I was introduced to her via a connection on Twitter). I wasn’t thinking about it during the Twitter/FB conversation yesterday, but Xumii’s mobile application looks like it may provide a great solution to the problem as they continue development (assuming they add Twitter to their growing list of supported services).

Xumii looks at status and IM aggregation as a problem to be solved in a good mobile client. They allow flexibility to selectively update status to only certain services as well as to create groups as one way to filter how you view status of those you follow. I’m looking forward to it!

[For fun, here’s a few tweets about this, in case you were wondering what it looks like when people are tweeting and interacting in real life at the same time…]

is looking forward to @johnbattelle ‘s first question for @ev “what is your business model?” at Conversational Media Summit today. #CMSummit from web

miconian @dalellarson just started following me on twitter and then asked @ev a question five feet from me a few minutes later. We’ve never met.Cool.

@miconian That’s the beauty of using Twitter search to find common interests… I’d just checked who else was Twittering in the room.