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Twitter Is About to Further Set Itself Apart from Facebook

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Making Twitter more conversational

Twitter (TWTR) is developing a feature that will allow people to quietly follow conversations on its social network, marking another attempt by Twitter to set itself apart from competitors such as Facebook (FB) amid a heated race for social media users.

The “subscribe to conversation” feature will allow people to get updates on specific conversations taking place on Twitter without their having to like or comment on the tweets driving the conversation, as is currently required. The feature is likely to strike a chord with privacy-conscious Twitter users. Twitter has yet to disclose when it expects to launch the feature, but it says the feature will help make its platform more conversational.

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Social networks seeking distinction

Amid heated competition for social media users and advertising dollars, social network operators are leaving nothing to chance to present themselves as unique in some ways. While Twitter presents itself as the destination for breaking news and a place to have healthy conversations, Facebook has sought to present itself as a one-stop shop for people’s social networking, e-commerce, and digital payment needs.

On its part, Snap (SNAP) has partnered with Amazon (AMZN) to bring online shopping capabilities to its Snapchat app. It has also partnered with Pandora to simplify music sharing on Snapchat. Pandora is now a subsidiary of Sirius XM (SIRI) following a $3.5 billion takeover transaction completed last month.

Twitter exited the fourth quarter with 321 million monthly active users. Facebook closed the same quarter with over 2.3 billion monthly users.

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