I posted a little while back - Finnish or English about the growth stagnation at Twitter and mused on how and what it could do increase growth, as well as keep advertisers spending and users engaged. Well, now we're seeing Twitter begin to ring in the changes to its platform and features.
There's been recent Periscope integrations, the Connect tab, better abuse reporting, a Windows 10 app, as well as a number of other broadcast deals, tie-ins and improvements to things such as accessibility.
Now we have some key changes to how Twitter fundamentally works in regards to its character count and how certain "@" mentions and replies are displayed. Details from the Twitter blog -
- Replies: When replying to a Tweet, @names will no longer count toward the 140-character count. This will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward, no more penny-pinching your words to ensure they reach the whole group.
- Media attachments: When you add attachments like photos, GIFs, videos, polls, or Quote Tweets, that media will no longer count as characters within your Tweet. More room for words!
- Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: We’ll be enabling the Retweet button on your own Tweets, so you can easily Retweet or Quote Tweet yourself when you want to share a new reflection or feel like a really good one went unnoticed.
- Goodbye, .@: These changes will help simplify the rules around Tweets that start with a username. New Tweets that begin with a username will reach all your followers. (That means you’ll no longer have to use the ”.@” convention, which people currently use to broadcast Tweets broadly.) If you want a reply to be seen by all your followers, you will be able to Retweet it to signal that you intend for it to be viewed more broadly.
The above changes will also affect brands and marketers that are currently utilising Twitter.
The changes to "@" mentions means there's more chance of other users seeing negative tweets directed at brands and services. This would also work with positive messages, but from personal and anecdotal experience, I believe there's much more negative sentiment directed at brands and products than positive. No one's tweeting British Airways to say "Thanks for getting my bags to their intended destination!" - well, not unless they're British and being extremely sarcastic!
For marketers, the changes are a bit more positive - offering more space to be creative with copy and when engaging with users, as usernames and links to media are no longer included in the 140-character count.
The changes are coming thick and fast from Market Street in San Francisco, but whether these will be enough to improve Twitter's declining growth and bring new and old users and advertisers back to the platform remains to be seen.
An abridged Finnish version of this post can be found here.