07/30/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Facebook Slowly Adding Twitter-Like Features, Following Microsoft's Model

Last fall, Facebook tried and failed to acquire Twitter for $500 million in Facebook stock.

The deal blew up when Twitter learned Facebook valued itself somewhere around $8 billion while its stock was going for closer to $4 billion on the market.

So what has Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg done since?

He has followed the model set by his tech business hero, fellow Harvard dropout and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates.

Throughout his career at Microsoft, when Bill Gates came up against a rival with an impressive product, his standard move was to dedicate Microsoft's resources toward coming out with a Microsoft version of the product. Microsoft would then refine that version--and, ultimately, in many cases, build a better one--while slowly but surely driving the innovator's product into irrelevance.

It was a method that drove Gates's rivals mad. Larry Ellison once blew up at a reporter who asked about Microsoft innovations, telling the reporter:

"What's new is nothing new. Microsoft continues to do what they always do which is to keep the price of Windows high and copy other people's software and just add it to Windows. That is the absolute opposite of innovation."

But Gates wasn't in business for his rivals benefit and neither is Mark Zuckerberg. And so, since the Twitter deal died, Facebook has bit by bit taken on Twitter-like features as its own.

Click through to see 10 ways Facebook is copying Twitter >

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