Prepare Yourself: Twitter Is Changing and You Better Be ReadyApril 11, 2014
Ah, Twitter, don’t ever change—wait, too late. The social network recently unveiled a brand new design that will change Twitter’s aesthetics and functionality in the next few weeks. Because we know that change can be hard, we took it upon ourselves to test out the new features in advance and give you the inside scoop. Our conclusion: even though these changes will become mandatory across every account, we think social media marketers are going to love the way they drive engagement.
1) Increased Focus On Your Profile
On your profile page, your photos and biography information are soon going to be displayed much more prominently. While your primary photo will remain the same, the most intriguing new feature is the banner photo, a 1500 x 500 pixel image that definitely commands attention. Look a little like Facebook? Maybe. But what this means for social media marketing enthusiasts is that you’ll be better equipped to show off and align photos to your brand messaging.
2) Tweets No Longer ‘Disappear’ Forever
It’s been said that the average lifespan of a Tweet is around 20 minutes. For graphic designers and social media strategists this is a nightmare—all that hard work, and a limited window for payoff.
That’s why one of our favorite new features is the ability to ‘Pin’ one of your Tweets to the top of your profile, showcasing it as the best or most representative material. To keep those social media analytics running north and continuously show fresh highlights to your fans, we recommend changing your Pinned Tweet around once a week.
3) Quality is Given Priority Over Quantity
As the Pinned Tweets feature suggests, the new direction for Twitter is putting more emphasis on social media engagement. And on user profiles and your main timeline, actual social engagement is now going to be made visible to the naked eye—in the size of each Tweet.
Soon, Tweets that have generated more interactions will be larger than the ones that don’t incite much response. Much as Facebook recently modified its news feed algorithm to emphasize relevant, engaging material, Twitter has changed to give a visible reward to those who can connect more deeply with their audiences. As the chronological order of Tweets gradually becomes de-emphasized, you’ll soon have to make your account stand out with truly high-quality material.
Twitter’s changes are, on the whole, really exciting. Some features may have been pulled from Facebook’s success, but the point is that Twitter is pitching a softball to social media strategists interested in influencer marketing and real engagement. While it might be a challenge today to cull through the social media noise, Twitter has proven that it is growing alongside us to make the platform a more social community for businesses.