You may have missed it but there’s been all change at Twitter lately, changes that are all aimed at making the platform more intuitive and easier to use.
For example, Twitter has stopped counting @ replies towards its 140 characters on web and mobile, as well as other ‘non-character’ elements such as pictures, gifs and videos, polls and quote tweets. Links still count because they are characters you can actually see, but they can be either shortened (via bit.ly or ow.ly) or Twitter will truncate them for you so they don’t take up the whole tweet. Hashtags still count.
Before the revamp, you might have realised that if the @username was at the front of the tweet it meant that you and they (and anyone who followed you both) could see it, and that was it unless you put a word or a full stop in front of the @ sign, which wasn’t ideal if you were using the platform for marketing – but then remember it was based on SMS messaging, so had this direct messaging bit hardwired.
Well, they’ve unpicked it, and now everyone can see everything.
Previously it was a chunky thing, with a teeny time restricted area at the front of a tweet for your thoughts (if you were lucky to get more than one word in), leading to all sorts of weird work arounds such as using MTs where the original tweet was edited to allow space.
That has gone now, which means that you don’t have the RT sign (or need MT) at the front with your comment squeezed in to all of five characters if you are lucky, but can have a whole tweet to yourself on top of the tweet you are retweeting, like you can with Facebook when you share something.
Then there was the convention of not being able to retweet your own tweet or share someone else when they retweeted you… I mean, why, Twitter? No clue, but that’s gone too, which is cool and really good for marketing and sharing recommendations and lovely complements.
Of the new services we particularly like Moments, which is pretty useful for catching up quickly on a major incidents or news. You can also make your own, like you can with Instagram and Facebook stories – clearly all inspired by Snapchat, but if it works, why not? These are pretty useful for business and great for events etc.
In addition, Twitter now catch you up with posts that were published since you last visited and in which they think you might be interested (you can opt out). Yes, the dreaded algorithm has struck here as well as on Facebook and Instagram, but here it’s less annoying and far more useful.
No change to lists (still awesome, and one of the best lead generation tools on social media) and the whole thing comes with the extra bonus of LOADS of photos, videos and gifs, which makes it really lovely to use, plus it’s still the best source of sarcasm and humour online anywhere.
So, Twitter is looking refreshed and refined, and I think they have achieved their aim of making it much more intuitive and more pleasant to use. Much beloved by old timers such as myself, it can however be – as noted above, and as you may be already aware – pretty overwhelming for a newbie. In fact, many people have described it to me as like going to party where you know no one, and everyone was ignoring you, and I know many small business users who have given up on it as a result.
And if that’s you, then now is the ideal time to get reacquainted with the network (come and say hello – I’m @claireburdett) and we have a Twitter Masterclass coming up that is PERFECT to help you get back in to the Twitter marketing saddle and get it generating sales and leads for your brand.
Oh, and there’s a discount code available if you subscribe to our Media Marketing Co newsletter. What not to like?