When someone used to asked me “What is Twitter,” I simply described it a list of real-time Facebook statuses. At the time, most people used Facebook as their primary source of social media, so I figured that description was relatable and easiest to understand. Twitter is much more now, and is definitely doing what it has to in order to keep up with the best of them.
New features have been added to Twitter, sparking improvement and curiosity, an expected need from a public company. Improved video, user friendly features such as an algorithmically generated timeline, and improved Direct Messages. Instant timelines are a gem that gives users the satisfaction of keeping them up to date without having to scroll through their entire timeline to find out news.
Users do not have to check their phones every 15 minutes to keep tabs on topics they like to follow. Speaking from personal experience, this is a great feature for the NFL fan in me.
Twitter is taking advantage of it’s GPS features as well, focusing more on presenting users with local information. It simply makes it easier to discover the latest in your surrounding area. You may have to take a few extra backroads home today due to that major accident on the Parkway near exit 13A (Jersey tawk).
What is the big deal about all these “improvements” to Twitter? After all, none of this is unheard of. Facebook changes every other day. We were always able to post videos to Twitter (RIP to Vine). The main reason is every social media monster’s dream – analytics. The Twitter team uses analytic packages to track engagement. With old leaders swiped for new ones, developers are revamping user interfaces, and fixing problems that have been in existence for months now (which is a lifetime in the tech world).
There is more to look forward to in 2015. Following Facebook culture (in a positive way though, not that annoying way we are familiar with), Twitter will be getting a new look. Video is a big one, specifically streaming real-time videos. Direct Messaging is no longer for private conversations anymore. Soon companies can “DM” other brands and implant business opportunities and branding solutions. Twitter’s goal this year is to have a true identity.
Going public lays out an obstacle course for every business. Was the timing right? Should we have waited until we rolled out A and B? Should we just hold off on C? Twitter definitely has a balancing act ahead, but the Libra in me says so far, so good. I don’t mind taking time for improvements. Twitter’s features still present enormous opportunities for branding and consumer engagement.
If used effectively, the capability to communicate at your leisure with reference to real time news is a successful luxury.