Mar 16 Updating Your Twitter Strategy; New Twitter Features to Watch For
As one of the world’s top 5 most popular social networks, Twitter has long been an important platform for brands to include in their marketing plans. Not only does the platform boast 192 million daily active users, but 40% of those users have reported purchasing something after seeing it on Twitter. However, aside from the recent full launch of Fleets, there hasn’t been much change in the platform since they doubled the character limit for Tweets. However, all that seems set to change, as the company has announced a series of changes to the platform that are worth keeping an eye on.
Twitter’s New Features
Some of the new features that are headed to Twitter (or already arrived) are unique to the platform, ideas they’ve had in order to continue pushing the market forward. Several of the other ideas are clearly a result of the platform not wanting to be left behind in a changing social media landscape, ideas that have been implemented successfully on other platforms. Let’s take a look at the list of new Twitter features that we should all be keeping an eye on in the near future.
Sometimes, you don’t want your words to stay around on the internet forever. Everyone has posts like this. Perhaps they’re controversial, or perhaps they’re just random snapshots of one’s day that aren’t worthy of a permanent record. Fleets are the solution to this problem. Or rather, Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Stories are the answers to this problem. Like those offerings by their competitors, Twitter has joined the world of posts that disappear after a certain time. That’s what Fleets are; Tweets that are fleeting. In 24 hours, they are erased from the site.
Almost since the beginning of the social network’s life, Twitter competitor Facebook has allowed for what they call Groups. A Facebook Group is a community of users that all share a similar interest. There are groups for knitting, music composition, religious study, marketing tips, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
Until now, Twitter did not have a convenient way for users to create and join such groups founded around common interests. Twitter has recently announced a similar concept called Communities. By subscribing to a given topic, you’ll get tweets about that topic delivered into your feed. Such a feature could be a great way for brands to showcase their knowledge of a given topic and increase their exposure at the same time.
Speaking of showcasing your knowledge on a topic, one of the great new upstart social networks for doing that is the social audio platform, Clubhouse. The network features voice-based chat rooms that can allow users to create a more human-like connection than text-based platforms can. Unsurprisingly, given the buzz Clubhouse has garnered for itself, Twitter is testing out its own version of audio chat, dubbed Spaces (and word is Facebook is also looking into developing a similar feature). Currently, the service is only available to a limited number of users but will be available to all users in April. It’s also worth noting that Spaces requires you to have the Periscope integration enabled, the video service that Twitter recently closed down. However, it’s unclear how Periscope will fit into Spaces once they’re fully launched.
From Patreon, to Substack, to YouTube paid subscriptions, there are now many platforms for enterprising people to monetize their creative output. Twitter has joined the party and announced that they will be testing out a feature called Super Follows. Like with those other services, users who pay a fee will be given access to additional perks. This could be Super Follower exclusive tweets, but it could also be things like a newsletter, or a badge that allows them to show off their support.
Acquisition of Revue
Speaking of ways for users to monetize their output, Twitter has recently acquired a competitor to Patreon and Substack. Revue is a platform for writers of editorial newsletters to get paid for creating their content. While Twitter sees their ownership of both Revue and one of the world’s largest social media sites as a great way for Revue writers to expand their readership and drive conversations on Twitter, they will still be running Revue as a standalone service. One big change they have made, though, is lowering the cut that Revue receives to 5%, leaving 95% of revenue from Revue subscriptions to the content creator.
eCommerce Twitter Cards
Twitter Cards have long been used by advertisers on the platform to extend the functionality of a paid ad. Twitter’s newest Card is designed to integrate with eCommerce sites wanting to expand their usage beyond paid aids. The feature would connect with sites like Shopify to pull in details and pricing information about a product and include that information, along with a big Shop button right within the tweet. This would allow Twitter users to more quickly interact with eCommerce sites and reduce friction to making a sale. Rather than just ads, Twitter sees this feature being used in regular tweets from businesses as well.
New Verification Policy
Changes have been made to the way Twitter handles verification. Notable changes include expanding the categories that are available for verification, reducing the requirements for what is considered a complete profile, and more precisely targeting the follower count requirements to be fairer to specific regions. The social network has also implemented a self-serve option for requesting verification and moved to a mix of automated reviews combined with human oversight. You can find a full list of the changes, along with a link to the newest version of the terms and conditions on the company’s announcement page.
For a long time now, Twitter has posted warnings on content they believe to be untrue or misleading. This process relies either on manual intervention or algorithms that sometimes get it wrong. In an effort to more quickly and accurately respond to misleading information on their platform, Twitter has announced a new service called Birdwatch. Currently operating as an entirely separate site, Birdwatch allows users of Twitter to make a note on a Tweet explaining how it might be misleading. Other users can upvote or downvote the correction.
Possible Subscription Services
With declining ad revenues, it’s no secret that Twitter is looking for ways to boost its bottom line. There’s no doubt that income from Revue will help in that regard, and may have been a major component of the platform’s decision to purchase the service, but Twitter has been looking at alternatives as well. One of them we’ve already seen, Super Follows. Twitter’s share of Super Follower money would certainly help offset lost ad revenue. Another idea they’ve floated is paid subscription services, although exactly how those will look remains to be disclosed.
We aren’t getting an edit button for tweets anytime soon, but a feature that may help cut down on mistakes is Twitter’s planned Undo Tweet functionality. This would give you a short window after a tweet is sent to undo it. That’s enough time to catch those mistakes you only seem to see after you’ve tweeted and quickly fix them, rather than having to manually delete the Tweet and repost. The company also hopes the feature may help reduce the number of angry, in-the-moment, tweets that get posted now.
We’ll be staying on top of the new Twitter features as they roll out and examining the impact they may have on the marketing strategies that businesses employ. You can also count on us to keep you informed about other important news and marketing trends in the social media landscape. To get the newest information straight to your inbox, subscribe to our Social You Should Know bi-weekly e-newsletter below.
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