Naysayers keep saying Twitter is dying but the new changes have breathed life into one of the world’s top social platforms. After these updates, social pundits who forecasted a gloomy future for Twitter might have to eat their own words. The recent updates are just the booster shots Twitter needed to come back to life.
So here goes our list of reasons why Twitter is here to stay.
1. Show Me The Best Tweets First
A couple of months back, Twitterattis everywhere complained against Twitter’s new algorithmic timeline feed as opposed to their reverse chronological feed. The first to point this out was Buzzfeed. The move was made in a bid to keep investors and shareholders happy as it would solve some of the Twitter’s signal-to-noise issues.
However, things didn’t bode well as Twitter’s highly vocal users reacted to the change with #RIPTwitter. Jack Dorsey wasted no time and quashed all the rumors by saying they had never planned to reorder timelines. “Twitter is live. Twitter is real-time. Twitter is about who & what you follow. And Twitter is here to stay! By becoming more Twitter-y,” he wrote on Twitter.
True to his words, the new feature didn’t affect the timeline significantly as the algorithm only applied to a handful of tweets at the top of each user’s feed. It also helped that the feature is available as an optional feature, rather than the default.
If you turn on the algorithm timeline, Twitter will show you the best tweets (based on interactions) from the people you follow at the top of your user feed and a summary of the most interesting tweets since your last visit. This change will not only make your timeline more relevant but also more dynamic and interesting than before.
2. Leveraging Platform’s Best Use
While Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are envying for advertisers’ attention (and money), Twitter’s latest move was to make the platform more suitable for customer service with Direct Message (DM).
With this feature, companies can take conversation from the public timeline to a private DM with a simple CTA (call-to-action) link as shown below. When customers click the link, they are taken to Direct Message compose with your username already selected and the public Tweet visible for context.
Also your direct messages are not restricted to 140-character limit, so you can explain your customers whatever you want in as many characters as you want. Direct Message is also good for taking feedback from customers using Net Promoter ScoreSM (NPS®) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT).
What’s more, Twitter has partnered with Conversocial, Hootsuite, Lithium, Salesforce, Spredfast, Sprinklr, Sprout Social, and Sparkcentral, so you can send direct messages from within these tools.
Just when companies’ fear of getting a bad rep on Twitter was reaching its zenith, this feature came along to resolve issues quickly and privately. This brand-friendly update will urge more companies to use Twitter for customer service.
3. Search In a GIF-fy!
GIFs are cool.
The ability to post animated GIFs is also cool.
But having a native button to search for the best GIFs on the internet is mind-blowingly cool.
Twitter partnered with Giphy and Riffsy to bring a plethora of awesome GIFs that you can search from various categories. There are over 40 categories arranged alphabetically including Agree, Eww, Mic Drop, Popcorn, Yes, You Got This and many more! Giphy is said to be the Google of GIFs, so we are positive we will be seeing some of the best GIFs online on Twitter.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) June 18, 2014
The new GIF button makes posting GIFs as easy as 123. Search within the categories or using keywords, select the one that is most relevant and post it! The easy GIF button is believed to generate more than 100 million GIF shares that the platform saw last year.
4. Tweets Without Borders
Twitter is now available in 5 more languages, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Serbian, and Slovak, making it to the total of 34 languages. Every month, hundreds of millions of people come to Twitter to see what’s happening in the world, of this only a fraction is from the US. Countries like Japan, Saudi Arabia, India, etc. form a huge part of Twitterdom.
Just ahead of Twitter’s IPO, BI reported that 84.4 million Chinese used Twitter even though all western social media platforms are banned in the country. This move is slated to attract more users outside the US. True that when compared to Facebook, Twitter has miles to go before it rests, nevertheless it is getting there.
5. Modern and Clean Timeline
Twitter recently updated the embedded timeline making it cleaner and modernistic. You can embed profiles, lists and collections using the new timeline display. It features expanded photos, GIFs and videos, so you don’t have to click on the tweet to see them. It also supports various new media types such as polls, news, etc.
The default expanded version will shave off that precious few minutes while catching on stories. The old ‘hide media’ option is discontinued, so you can share and view content easily as you scroll down.
6. Discover Twitter Stories Without Signing In
While it is mandatory to login to Facebook to view content or download the Snapchat app and register to view snap stories, Twitter makes it incredibly simple to discover stories, even to people who don’t sign in. Every minute something new is unfolding in the world and Twitter takes pride in being at the heart of the action.
Their new homepage is designed to look like Twitter timeline and displays real-time tweets, videos, images and live videos so that people can get some action, albeit passively.
Earlier, it was possible to see individual tweets but you couldn’t check out stories. From MLK Day to Malala, From NBA to Chinese New Year, you can now dive into tweet-by-tweet discussions around the world. However, since the stories are tailored for you based on your location, you might want to sign in and customize your timeline to receive tweets you are more interested in.
7. Organic Conversational Ads
Last but not the least, one of the most brand-friendly move that is aimed to woo advertisers and publishers is conversational ads that is a step above the promoted tweets.
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) June 3, 2015
The new conversational ads are designed to encourage engagement and make it easier for people to interact with the ads. Earlier, you could measure a campaign’s success only though campaign hashtags, retweets, likes and follows. Conversational ads change the game completely by including call to action buttons with customizable hashtags that inspire people to engage with the brands.
Through this update, brands not only get one more parameter to check success or boost engagement but also design more organic ads that boost conversation. It is no secret that millennials don’t like traditional, pushy ads. Brands are under more and more pressure to create meaningful ads that inspire conversation. The Samsung ad example above is a great example of how brands can have authentic conversation with consumers on Twitter.
Quick Recap: What’s Not to Love?
So let’s do a quick recap of all the changes Twitter made in the recent times:
1) It allows you to personalize your feed by showing the best tweets from the people you follow
2) It makes Direct Message simpler and more customer-service friendly
3) The new GIF button makes tweeting double the fun
4) Twitter is now available in 34 languages
5) Embedded timeline with expanded photos and GIFs
6) You can now discover stories without signing in to Twitter
7) Ads become more organic and conversational
All these in just a few months!
Though Twitter took its own sweet time in making these changes, we are sure it is going to be a better place for Twitteratis as well as brands. True these changes are not equal to the elixir it is looking for, more like the annual booster shots to keep going, but at this rate they can make a comeback soon.