Twitter Changes and What it Means to Your Business

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The past two months has seen Twitter change a variety of it’s settings and features. If you haven’t been able to keep up, here is a breakdown of their new and improved (debatable) Twitter Platform.

Before updating their discovery tab, (which I will go into more detail later) Twitter first looked at how to help business represent their brand which lead to the Cover Photo feature. As shown below, you now have the option to add a third advertising feature to your page.

The cover photo has had mixed reviews as it can leave your profile looking messy if your image doesn’t work with your bio. It can however, give your followers a better insight into you and your business.

The other issue with the Cover Photo is that you need to get a photo resized to fit the dimensions given in Twitter (1252×626). A great tool I used to resize and edit the photo above is Pic Monkey.

Now, when you visit the Discover tab on Twitter, you’ll get an updating stream of tweets already expanded to shows photos, videos or teasers for text articles. The tab will continue to show content that is relevant to your interests and activity on the social network. The updated format “is rolling out gradually to everyone,” according to a post to the official Twitter blog by product manager Sara Mauskopf. Studies have suggested that users will spend more time in the platform with this new and improved feature.

Twitter has also allowed users to center background images and have also tidied up their layout on Mobile to encourage more people to actively use Twitter via their mobile.

The above changes have improved Twitter’s usability but with good, there is always bad. Twitter has recently changed their settings to block Animated GIF files from being used as Profile Pictures (unless you leave your animated GIF image as your profile picture before the change, see below).

Twitter has also decided to change its API Policy to alter how it interacts with third party applications, like IFTTT (If this, then that).

Looking to the future…

Earlier this year, Twitter announced its partnership with Nielsen on a new tool to measure brand impact. With the new tool, Twitter’s advertising partners will be able to conduct surveys on the social network from the new @TwitterSurveys account. These survey questions will appear in the user’s timeline just like Promoted Tweets currently do.

Twitter has also been testing new terminology for its “Favorite” feature, including “Like” and “Star.” This is a great addition (should it be implemented permanently) for businesses to improve their engagement inside of Twitter.

By the end of the year, Tweets will be downloadable. There has been some controversy around this and it will cause problems. You are going to have to be a lot more careful inside of Twitter come 2013 as people will be able to download your tweets but on the up side, your tweets will have more power.

What do you think about Twitter’s new changes?


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