Twitter Announces New Changes, What Do They Mean?

By October 31, 2011 News, Social Media

It seems that almost every week at least one of the social media websites announce new changes and updates, and last week was no different! Twitter introduced some changes to user’s Timelines. The changes mostly involve pop-up frames and newsfeed expansions. The new Timeline allows users to click individual tweets to expand conversations, media, and RTs. So what does that mean for you and your business?

First off, you can now easily track conversations with the new changes. When it comes to conversing on Twitter, its very important to track which tweets and links are creating a dialogue. When you find out which tweets have been creating more dialogue than others, you can than use that information in the future when deciding what type of tweets to write to create more conversation with your followers and fans. With the new updates, hovering over a tweet in your Twitter timeline will make an “open” button appear. Clicking this button will expand into the full exchange of replies and mentions that tweet received. This will allow businesses and marketers to easily see who is tweeting at them, what reactions people have, and how long they keep up the exchange. The feature is similar to Facebook’s “See Friendship” option, which allows users to see previous interaction with a specific friend, dating all the way back to when they first got Facebook or became “friends” with someone.

Unfortunately, it also means that it wont be as easy to track multimedia sharing success. When sharing links to valuable content on Twitter, many people often use URL shorteners like to shorten the links. A big advantage to this was that it provided analytics for every click that a specific link received. This data factor is now in jeopardy. The new Twitter updates will allow any media containing link, such as a photo or video on a site like TwitPic or YouTube, to expand inside the actual stream and display as the picture or video. This eliminates a persons need to click on the actual link because they will be able to just watch it within their feed. This change will make such analytics tools less valuable to people, because they will no longer be able to see how many people viewed a certain link.

Next, you’ll now be able to use retweets as a tool for analyzing . If you’re managing your company’s Twitter account or sharing company content through your personal Twitter account, you could previously get an email notifying you when someone retweeted your tweet. Now you easily view this for all tweets. The new update will have a horizontal list of users who have retweeted that specific update upon click. This means that if you wrote about a new feature in your industry on your blog at the same time as another blog site, you can view how many people shared your blog update, as well as the competitors. You can also see who retweeted your update versus another similar update, which can help you understand what wording, links etc gets more shares, or which users are consistently sharing your content. Of the new features, I think this one is the most important and influential to your business. To be able to see who gets more retweets and clicks between you and your competitor is a great tool, and will only help you and your company improve on content in the future.

Finally, this makes Twitter much more user friendly. It seems Twitter’s new timeline updates primarily serve to make Twitter more user-friendly. Clicking on a user’s Twitter username will now pop up a single frame over your timeline showcasing their profile. The frame is identical to the window that previously opened to the right of your page every time you clicked on a user on your timeline. Now it simply just pops right up in your face so you can be sure to know exactly what that user’s last three tweets were.

If you’re interested in a brief overview of the new Twitter updates, take a look at Patrick Bisch’s video for a great explanation here: Twitter Quietly Rolls Out New Timeline


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