SAN DIEGO (TheStreet) -- Facebook (FB) - Get Facebook, Inc. Class A Report and Twitter (TWTR) - Get Twitter, Inc. Report are duking it out to be your one-stop-shop for the day's news, with Twitter just barely edging out the world's largest social network as TheStreet readers' preferred place to find online news.
In a recent survey that polled readers on their primary online source for news, 33% of people said that they turn to Twitter keep them current. Facebook secured a close second-place finish with 32% of the votes.
The results highlight why Facebook is anxious is entice media companies to publish their articles inside the social network's walls. Facebook is reportedly hoping to coax companies such as the New York Times (NYT) - Get New York Times Company Class A Report, BuzzFeed and National Geographic to host their content on the social network, which, in theory, means you wouldn't need to leave Facebook to get your news fix.
Should Facebook prove successful in its negotiations to host more news directly, it would secure a leg up over its biggest rival, Twitter, which is known for offering users a first-person perspective on what's happening in the world.
Facebook's interest in Twitter's turf is visible in a number of product changes designed to expand the purpose of its News Feed beyond personal photos and status updates. Facebook has tweaked its formula for ranking items in News Feed to feature news articles more prominently. It also emulated the way Twitter highlights the most talked-about "trending" stories.
TheStreet's Jim Cramer likes what he sees, and is bullish on Facebook's media moves. "Now Facebook is flexing its muscles. Think of it. In the last year, Facebook has said it wants to be your place for sports with its NFL video clips deal. It wants to be your bank as we just learned. And now it wants to be your newspaper of record," Cramer said in a recent article. "It all works for me."
Twitter, meanwhile, won't cede its news turf to Facebook without a fight. Management has discussed plans to package tweets to showcase newsworthy content, and the company may even be working on a Twitter "Daily Edition."
On Wednesday, after ignoring it for years, Twitter revamped its famous "trending topics" by adding descriptions to trends on its mobile apps.
Based on our poll results, LinkedIn (LNKD) and Snapchat have a lot of work to do if they're going to convince you to turn to them for news. The professional network landed 8% of votes. And Snapchat, now with a Discover section that serves up disappearing content from top media organizations, secured just 1% of readers' votes.