RealTime IT News

Facebook Pages Publish to Twitter With New Tool

Score another point for social media marketing: Facebook Page users will soon be able to automatically publish updates to their Twitter accounts, as the social networking giant makes new moves to expand services and features at the site.

While Facebook profiles are common for individual users of the site, Facebook Pages are used by businesses, musicians, media outlets and others as a form of social media marketing.

With the new feature, Pages -- not individual profiles -- will link to Twitter, enabling Pages users to syndicate their updates to the popular microblogging service and giving them another channel on which to promoting content on their Pages.

"Many people have asked us to make Facebook and Twitter work better together for those times when they want to share their content as widely as possible," Facebook developer Michael Gummelt wrote on the company's blog. "We agree. Over the next few days, we will be releasing a feature that allows administrators of Facebook Pages to publish their Facebook updates to their Twitter accounts automatically."

"Public figures, musicians, businesses and organizations of all types who've created Facebook Pages often want to share a status update, a photo or an event with as many of their supporters as possible," added Gummelt, who is working with Facebook as a summer intern from Stanford University. "Celebrities may want to share personal news or charities may want to put out calls for help to both their Facebook fans and their Twitter followers, all at the same time."

The launch of the Twitter publishing feature marks the latest effort by Facebook to capitalize on the popularity of the microblogging service.

In particular, it comes the heels of Facebook's acquisition of FriendFeed, seen as a competitor to Twitter.

There's also more money to be had in beefing up Pages. More businesses are also turning to social media as an affordable alternative for promotional campaigns and brand marketing.

A number of celebrities and organizations on Facebook are already using this feature to publish the content on their Facebook Page to Twitter to reach a wider audience, according to Gummelt, who cited participants like comedian Dane Cook, The World Wildlife Fund and the NBA.

The Twitter feature will be available "soon" at www.facebook.com/twitter. It will let Facebook Page managers decide what types of updates to share -- including status, links, photos, notes or events.

There's also the ability to link different Facebook Pages to different Twitter accounts, Gummelt said.

In addition to content sharing, Facebook is also aggressively expanding other services and site functionality -- introducing an improved search tool powered by Microsoft's Bing as well as new tests of its virtual currency for both digital and physical goods.

It is also opening up its platform to third-party developers and courting them with ad-targeted technology.

The largest social networking site is also trying out a "Lite" version of the service in overseas markets that are limited by broadband availability.