The Internet is a lot like life – the second you get comfortable with something, it changes. Nowhere is this truer than with social media, whose platforms seem to have a midlife crisis every other week. The only difference is that instead of buying a red Corvette or signing up for guitar lessons, they’re changing their designs, privacy settings, and terms of service.
Twitter, the popular social network that allows users to share their thoughts in 140-character “tweets,” has been around since 2006. While Twitter’s initial goals – to help people connect, share their lives, and make discoveries – have mostly remained the same, the ways in which it achieves those goals have grown along with the company. While 2015 is still young, the changes Twitter has already rolled out promise that this will be the company’s most exciting year yet.
Last year Twitter began allowing its users to post videos, images and other media along with their 140 characters, a change which enriches users’ content. This has proven to be an incredibly successful and popular strategy for individuals and businesses. In fact, studies show that tweets with an image are 150 percent more likely to be shared by others, proving that a picture is worth a thousand retweets.
A few weeks ago, Twitter began allowing users to record, edit and share 30-second long videos directly on Twitter, without ever leaving the app. Not only does this cut out the middleman, but it makes it easier than ever to instantly share rich, engaging content with your followers.
If your Twitter profile is public, then everything you tweet can be seen by anyone. While this is a great way to connect, communicate and advertise, there are some conversations that are best kept behind closed doors. When such a case arises, you can use Direct Message to keep the conversation between you and another individual.
Conversing with either the whole world or a single person are two pretty extreme options, which is why Twitter introduced group messaging at the end of January. This function allows you to start conversations with up to 20 people at once, regardless if those users follow one another. It’s a great and efficient way to share conversations and strengthen your Twitter community.
A Timeline, Instantly
Depending on when you signed up for Twitter, you may remember experiencing the barren wasteland of your timeline, before you started following people and seeing their tweets appear. It felt a bit like accidentally showing up early to a party and awkwardly making small talk with the hosts while they set out snacks and drinks. To help brand new users feel at home, Twitter will soon begin rolling out an instant, personalized timeline for those who don’t have the time or patience to craft the perfect account.
This new feature entered public testing at the beginning of February, and so far users have reacted positively . To create a personalized timeline, Twitter analyzes your contacts and uses their profile information to guess which topics you’ll also be interested in. The idea is that if all your friends are sports nuts, you’re probably a sports nut, too. (On the other hand, if you’re really bored during March Madness, you’ll forgive Twitter for making assumptions. No one’s perfect.)
The Ultimate Index
This last one was actually born at the end of 2014, but I’m including it here because of its untapped potential. Since its inception, Twitter has prided itself on being an “of the moment” app. Tweets were removed from its index after a week or so, by which time they were considered stale. This past November, Twitter announced that it had done the seemingly impossible by indexing every single tweet since 2006, including the 1 billion new tweets that are sent every two days.
While you may cringe when you inevitably look up your very first tweet – Sage Island’s Twitter debut was a tweet about a website launch way back in 2009, I was happy to discover – there are other benefits to this index. With the help of hashtags users can now comb through the archives of big events, such as #Election2012 or #Oscars2010, to see what people were saying in those moments. It’s a great way to research, explore and look back on the experiences that mattered most.
Change is Good
Twitter is one of the most popular and successful social networks of all time. Part of its success is due to the fact that it continues to listen to its users, adjust its strategies, and make innovative changes that keep the company on the cutting edge. As long as Twitter can maintain its tireless commitment to growth and its willingness to embrace change, the tweets will keep on coming.
Here at Sage Island, we admire Twitter’s spirit and strive to hold our company to the same high standards. That’s one of the many reasons we’re focused on connecting to our clients in relevant and meaningful ways, and helping other businesses do the same.
Mike Duncan co-founded Sage Island in 1997, and since then has evolved the agency’s scope to include marketing strategy, creative design, technical development and a wide range of digital marketing services. With an integrated approach that leverages the power and measurability of the internet, the savvy Sage Island team develops strategies, builds brands, writes killer copy and delivers to clients all over the world. And they have an awesome time doing it. Sage’s collaborative working environment keeps creativity and innovation at the heart of the concept. With a 17-year history in Wilmington and beyond, Sage Island shows no signs of slowing down. To learn how Sage Island can grow your business, check us out at www.sageisland.com. To stay updated on the latest in digital marketing, follow Sage Island on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/SageIsland, and on Twitter at twitter.com/SageIsland.
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