By Matt Kearney With much of the social media world’s attention on the launch of brand pages for Google+, and the new Facebook updates, some of the recent changes to Twitter have slipped under the radar. The changes were originally announced back in August, along with a short trial run before being pulled and re-launched in recent days. Although not as drastic as the revamp of the Facebook profile, there are a number of new features worth noting.
Similar to the Facebook News Ticker, Twitter has begun rolling out activity streams. In this stream, users can see a near real-time flow of Tweets, posts, and other updates from their friends and followers. This new feature really encourages conversation between users, and lends itself to the discovery of new content. For example, when a user follows new accounts, the avatar of these followed accounts appears in the activity stream, allowing for easy discovery of new people to follow.
Other actions your followers take are also more easily accessible within this new tab. For example, whenever a follower ‘favorites’ a tweet, this prominently appears in the stream, thereby bringing potentially new and interesting content to the attention of a wider audience. This feature is beneficial not only to those ‘listening’ to the content, but also to those generating the content such as brands.
Whereas before, the streams of your various Twitter notifications lived in a number of different tabs, clicking on the new @Username tab (your username), lets you see which of your tweets have been favorited, retweeted, or aimed at you and your followers all in one place. Hence, this new username feature will replace the @Mentions tab and Retweets tabs.
Additionally the method of interaction has become much more user friendly within the @username tab. For example, users can see the people that most recently followed their account in addition to locating responses to tweets more quickly, allowing for more real-time conversation. All of these are in chronological order starting with the most recent entries at the top.
What the changes mean for marketers
These changes bring some great benefits to those monitoring Twitter brand accounts. The Activity tab will provide an extremely useful tool to better monitor follower activity, and using this data will allow companies a new method of optimizing social media content for maximum engagement. By seeing which Tweets users are likely to retweet or those they’re likely to follow, marketers will find themselves in much stronger position to shape tone and timing of new social content. Additionally, it will likely help companies identify new handles to engage with, as their existing followers engage with new handles, and add users to various lists.
Whereas before, the massive amount of information flowing into Twitter made discovering new voices very difficult, these new features seem to be designed to boost new content discovery, and engagement with new accounts.
What do you think about these new changes to the Twitter profile? How do you think marketers can use this to optimize engagement? Let me know in the comments.