There was stagnation in Twitter’s growth in 2015 and it wasn’t appealing enough for more than 77 % of the internet users who did not use it. In an industry that is obsessed with rapid growth when there is any slowdown in user acquisition or monetization, it raises alarms. Twitter had been facing stagnant growth of monthly active users and generating lesser revenue.
In order to drive user engagement and improve the overall user experience of the platform, over the last six months, Twitter has made many small and big changes. We know how difficult it may be for you to keep up with these updates, so we have put together few notable features below:
There have always been debates on the 140-character limit of a Twitter post. Some argue that the character limit is essential for the Twitter’s identity as it is one of the fastest methods to spread ideas. Others feel if the 140-character cap is removed, Twitter would open up for new and engaging content. There had been major challenges when you added media to your tweets. By default, media links used to take 23 characters (16 % of 140-Character limit).
The importance of images could not be ignored as they not only increase the interactivity of the tweets but also boost the CTR (click through rates) and re-tweets. To address this, Twitter has announced that the media such as images, videos, and polls attached to tweets will no longer be counted against the 140-character count. The rule will also apply to the @handle when you reply to someone else’s tweet. This update makes a few changes in the way the replies & retweets are handled, for example, “@johndoe” need not to be added to ensure the reply is seen by everyone.
Jack Dorsey the Twitter CEO has made a public appeal to developers to submit their ideas for product enhancements last October. One of the ideas focused on making Twitter accessible to visually impaired users. People who use Twitter on Android and iOS apps can add alt text descriptions to the images within their tweets.
Accessible image can be set up at the user level and is very easy to set up now. In an iOS or Android device you need to go to the Twitter settings and follow the steps mentioned below:
Adding accessibility is the best practice for businesses and organizations looking to grow the target audience and do the right thing.
Most of the people usually do not understand how to use Twitter effectively. As per the industry experts in order to expand its user base, Twitter has to make it easier for customers to get the first moment of value. Twitter recently re-imagined the experience of finding the people that any new user must follow.
A Connect tab has been released in May that allows you to scan your contacts for people to follow. It also provides custom recommendations based on the location, existing follower profile, activity and major interest accounts. By following a large number of people, Twitter is hoping to provide something valuable that is worth looking at.
Twitter acquired Periscope last year and a small percentage of Android Phone users will see a “go live” button while composing tweets. This button connects to Periscope and allows the users to broadcast directly via Twitter.
This amazing feature expands the content type that the marketers & content creators can play with. Instead of using complicated Twitter Q&A or Tweetstorm the users can utilize live streaming to compile and publish longer thoughts and responses. This will also keep the clutter on Twitter feeds down and can garner engagement in a live and more compelling video format. Latest breaking news, sports, entertainment and watching a live event is the best way to understand the potential and power of Twitter.
The new GIF search feature release is significant for people who rely on GIF a lot. There were more than 100 million GIF’s that were shared on Twitter last year. The process to share an animated image on Twitter was complicated before.
Previously, you had to search for an appropriate GIF on search engines, save the image and go back to Twitter. Then you had to recompose your Tweet and finally upload the image. However, you can use the new GIF feature on Twitter and just click on a single button and conduct a search. The best part of this is that even uploading and saving the image is not needed.
Twitter though had started as a text based platform; however, the images are the topmost sources for user engagement. This is the main reason why Twitter adjusted the image size requirements to not force crop most images. This made Twitter visually appealing and engaging right away.
In addition, Twitter also introduced a new view for the multi-photo displays. The update enables users to view more individual images that are included in a collage.
There had been several instances where there was spread of harassment and its aggravation on Twitter’s network. This had caused numerous users to delete their accounts in order to safeguard their privacy and security. Twitter has begun responding to harassment and threats on its network with a series of new features and service aimed to keep people safe.
The new additions include:
Most of the new features launched by Twitter are largely focused on its users. Some of these updates though are small but in the aggregate, they signal a move towards a more intuitive user experience based mostly on the user feedback. The test of time will prove if these fan-favorite features will result in a measurable increase in revenue and usage.