I’ve been using Twitter for a couple weeks now, and I’ve been pondering this question lately. “Why Twitter?” Pownce has recently come out of private beta, and there hasn’t been a huge number of people moving from Twitter to Pownce. The newer service’s premise is closer to the way I use Twitter than to the way a lot of people do. Pownce is like IM, while Twitter tends to be “I’m eating a sandwich,” saying things for the heck of it.
I’d like to see more people using Pownce, though that causes a problem like we have with IM: People you know use different services, which leaves you using both, trying to manage multiple accounts that essentially do the same thing. Maybe what we need is the equivalent of Jabber, an open standard that can be used to unify the services.
Anyway, confusion aside, it’s time to get to the fun part and compare the two services.
- Can post via IM or SMS
- Let’s you edit your profile’s theme, while Pownce demands a “Pro” subscription to do more than pick a prefab design
- Offers the useful @ reply system.
- Has a lot more users
- Better design overall
- Allows more than 140 characters
- Is easier to send private messages to other users
- Allows you to choose either Message, Link, File, or Event when posting
- Let’s you feature links to your websites, IM accounts, and profiles on Digg, StumbleUpon, YouTube, etc.
Both services have some good points. Though I really like the fact that Pownce allows longer messages, has a better private message system, and is more of a communications tool than a sandwich-notification system, I’m sticking with Twitter, since that’s what everyone else is using. After all, there’s no point in using Pownce if you don’t know anyone who uses it.