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Twitter Changes - Our View


In my last post I wrote about how the book “Hatching Twitter “ has influenced how I view the many changes that Twitter has made in 2015. At times it has been a challenge to keep up so I thought it was time for a post that summarised what has been happening along with some thoughts about what might be next.

Quote Tweet

It was back in April that the Quote Tweet option was added to Twitter.  I really like this function as it gives me and everyone the ability to say why I want to Retweet something. This can only add value and is a great way to strike up a conversation. The only downside for me is that it is still not available on Hootsuite, my preferred management tool. However it is available on the Twitter owned Tweetdeck.

Direct Messages

In May I wrote “Twitter is Changing But Is It Fast Enough?” This included the news that you could send Direct Messages to people who aren’t following you providing they had opted to allow this. This change was met by a guarded response from Twitter users who feared that it would lead to spam. All of my accounts are set to receive Direct Messages from anyone and I haven’t noticed any spam at all. I would be interested to hear if this is the case for everyone?

The other big change to Direct Messages was the removal of the 140 character limit to allow messages of up to 10 000 characters. This is another great addition that lets you have a proper conversation with people you meet on Twitter without the “Please can you send me your email” message.

Twitter Polls

Another recent addition is Twitter polls. You can ask a question with 2 replies and the poll stays open for 24 hours. This is another feature designed to create interaction and I’ve used it once although I can see that it has its uses. Again not only can you not create polls in Hootsuite but if you Retweet  a Tweet with a poll the questions don’t transfer. I learned that one the hard way! Interestingly Facebook removed this facility from pages some time ago, will it reappear?

The Heart Option

Last week Twitter replaced the star that let you favourite Tweets with a heart, another change not universally welcomed. I used the star to bookmark interesting tweets and acknowledge that I had seen Retweets. Adding a heart to business Tweets seems wrong. However instead of adding a heart I’ve replied to tweets instead and I know others have chosen to do this too.

It seems that many of us who were sceptical about this change have been proved wrong. Reports say that more people are using the heart option than used the star.

Other changes have included the “While You Were Away” feature as well as Moments, a feature that is so far only available in the US.

One of the main ways all these new features have changed the way I use Twitter is to make me use Twitter itself rather than a third party app such as Hootsuite.  You may be interested to see the following exchange I had with Hootsuite following a Tweet I sent.

I’m sure that Twitter wants users to use Twitter. I always use Facebook to access Facebook and I am sure that Twitter would prefer people to access Twitter to use Twitter. By making some features only available to users within Twitter or a product owned by them it has better access to user’s data. It is that data that Twitter needs to make its advertising service attractive and effective.

Another change I’ve seen recently is a drop in the number of impressions for each Tweet. I’m not alone. Buffer, another well used third party app has recently claimed to have suffered a loss of traffic across all social media platforms.

My (educated) guess is that when it comes to Twitter they have closely observed Facebook. Facebook have dramatically reduced the reach of organic posts almost forcing business users to use Facebook ads. I would assume that Twitter would like to do the same. Facebook has a phenomenal amount of data for advertisers to tap into and Twitter needs the same to make it both profitable and competitive.

The other reason my impressions may have gone down could be due to the sheer volume of Tweets. Twitter has become a noisy place with many accounts just happy to post streams of Tweets. Which leads me to the change I would LOVE Twitter to make. My Twitter experience is being spoiled by “Bots” and automated accounts that favourite my tweets randomly and add me to meaningless lists. I can’t see the value in this although I suspect I might be alone.

Twitter my wish for 2016 would be – Please stop the “bots”

Twitter is still a great way to promote your business. If you need advice on how to create an effective Twitter campaign or would like to discuss our Create and Post It service give me a call or send me a message.



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