It’s been a busy couple of weeks insofar as Twitter is concerned, but we’ve not had the time to address each individually due to us focusing on a few projects which have been nearing completion (such as the TRAX technologies, and the Hotel and Leisure industry guide), but while we have a spare moment we thought we’d bring you the four biggest pieces of Twitter news.
Over the last fortnight we have learned that Instagram now counts more than 400 million users – 80 million more than Twitter, while Pinterest (itself reaching 100 million users) has announced an extension of its 60 million strong buy button program. With the popular ‘Ad-Block’ Chrome extension now permitting ‘Acceptable Ads’, Facebook’s advertising audience is likely to grow again as more and more ads are inevitably considered acceptable. So, do these stories go some way to explaining the latest Twitter news? It looks like there may well be a battle of the Social Media platforms on the way – now MySpace, now is your time to shine…
Besides the fact that the above poll misses out Tony Pullis and Sam Allerdyce, the interesting thing about the new feature (available only to verified users at present) is the potential not only for brands to gather data, but also to interact with their consumers in a real and actionable fashion. If brands are prepared to take positive action on (obviously carefully planned and implemented) Tweet polls, the potential to create a feeling of genuine brand interaction is fantastic.
The ‘buy now’ button has been in the works for what seems an eternity, but after appearing briefly for sporting and other large-scale events it seems it will soon become a permanent fixture on Tweets on both sides of the Atlantic very soon (having already been rolled out in the US). Not only does this offer brands an amazing opportunity to potentially monetise their Twitter following, it will also increase the importance of ‘key influencers’ to a brand’s online presence. Are we going to see the return of the ‘celebrity endorsement’? It will be interesting to see whether some of the more popular Twitter accounts become involved in brand promotion, but what is certain is that we are seeing a big change in the way people shop.
We are doing the necessary work to better communicate what Twitter is and why Twitter[sic]. And we are doing that from a communications, a marketing and a product standpoint.
Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO
This is another in a list of new products that seem to be aimed at combating to reverse the slowdown in growth that Twitter has experienced over the last couple of years. This product which is ‘aimed at grouping tweets around one event’ appears to be part of an endeavour to broaden the number of Twitter products and to represent a desire, along with the other proposed and incoming products and services, to extend its appeal into territory currently dominated by other social media platforms. Which brings us nicely to the next point…
Long Form Tweets (Tweevelas?)
This is in the Tweets of Christmas future section, but the announcement that Twitter may release a product enabling users to bypass the long-standing 140 character limit has at least partially broken the internet this week. With the short-format having been the driving force behind Twitter’s following, the consensus seems to be a collective raised eyebrow. However, the rise of competing long-form platforms must surely be behind the thought process, but what good will it do for brands? The answer is, probably, very little – there will of course be brands that launch wholeheartedly into long-form, and it certainly offers interesting potential in terms of UGC, but realistically the choice will remain as to whether a company keeps on with little and often or reduces activity to mirror the techniques used for maintaining a brand’s Facebook presence. The main potential for brands is really that an increase in Twitter users means more eyes on their marketing and possibly a resultant increase in revenue.
If you have any conflicting views on these Twitter announcements, feel free to let us know in the comments below – otherwise we’ll keep on assuming we’re just doing a stellar and essentially unquestionable job.
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