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Twitter is Changing But is it Fast Enough


A few weeks ago while writing about changes to Facebook I promised to turn my attention to Twitter. Twitter has also been making changes recently. Last year Dick Costolo CEO of Twitter promised to make the service more visually appealing in order to encourage user growth and engagement.

I’ve already included the comment or quote facility that is available on the website and iphone app. Twitter has now launched a feature on the app for android devices only. They must be trying to share the love around. The feature is called highlights and aims to keep you up to date with the most important Tweets and conversations among the people you follow. To access this feature you need to opt in and you will get the information via a push notification a couple of times a day.

The other new feature being rolled out is the ability to Direct Message people who don’t follow you. Again you have to opt in to receive these messages. You can do this in the “Privacy and Security” section of your Twitter settings.  A new Direct Message button will appear on accounts in the iphone and Android app to show that these accounts have activated this feature. You can read more about this on the Twitter blog

As well as sending Direct Messages to people who don’t follow you you can now create a group and send a direct message to that group. Did someone mention Whatsapp ?

There are some very obvious pros and cons to this new feature. It means that it will be easier to have a private conversation especially for brands that use Twitter as a customer service tool, they can take things out of the public arena much quicker.

Of course the con is that this allows businesses to send messages to potential customers which may be a good thing or may be spam depending on your point of view.

In the past few weeks Twitter has announced disappointing results. There has been lots of commentary on why this is so but one of the most common complaints is that users find the “noise” of Twitter off putting. It is impossible to keep up with everything due to the amount of Tweets being generated. It will be interesting to see if these recent changes help cut through the noise and make Twitter a more engaging place.



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