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On Wednesday, Twitter released an update to their 'Friend Finder' application for Facebook, which allows users to see which Facebook users also have Twitter accounts. Since that update however, Facebook appear to have blocked the application. What's unclear is whether or not this was an intentional move by the social media giant or simply an error that will soon be fixed.
A Twitter spokesman had this to say:
Facebook have notified us that they've blocked the update to our application, and we are working on a resolution with them
The Twitter application has around seven million users, putting it well within the top 40 Facebook applications. It allows users not only to see which of their 'friends' has a Twitter account, but also allows for an integration between the two - allowing users to upload status updates which will appear simultaneously on both sites. Considering Facebook has an estimated 500 million users and Twitter an estimated 100 million, the merging of their user databases would provide an extremely valuable commodity.
The relationship between the two social media sites has always been an interesting one, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitting that Twitter's initial period of growth worried him, and that he watched them far too closely, stating that:
As good as Twitter are, I personally just paid too much attention to them
Going on to say
I looked at their growth and thought 'if this continues for another year they're going to be bigger than us'. It just turned out that their growth was kind of unnatural
Facebook has certainly stayed out in front, with an estimated 500 million users compared to Twitter's 100 million, but Zuckerman knows how popular his rival site is becoming, and he's been trying to take notes. After Facebook tried (and failed) to acquire Twitter in 2008, they introduced a real-time status updates totheir news feeds, resembling the 140 character posts on Twitter.
Zuckerman appears confident of Facebook's continual growth however, predicting that the site will soon reach one billion users around the World. Speaking at the International Advertising Festival, Zuckerman stated
We're down to just four countries where Facebook isn't the leading social network; China, Russia, Korea and Japan.
And the Facebook CEO seems nothing if not confident about their level of growth in these four countries.
In Russia we've got only 1 million users, but this figure is doubling every six months ... we'll see a tipping point in each of these countries when local-to-local communications outnumber local-to-foreign.
If Facebook was a country, it would already be the third most populated country on the planet, with around 150 million more people than the United States. If Facebook reaches its' target of one billion users, it would be just 180 million people behind India and 338 million behind China.