Social Networks are everywhere, they come and go, but those that have a defining feature usually stand fast against the newcomers. Twitter sets itself apart form other by making everything tiny. Bit sized updates of ‘news’ users are happy to update several times a day. That’s not the case now however, as Twitter introduced photos, videos, advertising and others into the mix. Many are questioning if they are losing their way.
If you sign up for Twitter now, you are made to follow some random celebrities or brands before you can even complete your profile. Last year they updated the Android app and buried your profile away in a menu, and made their Discover tab front and centre. In effect, Twitter is trying to boost engagement with what their algorithm tells you should be interesting.
That is wholly understandable given Twitter’s pursuit is of a much higher income to satisfy its stake holders. However moving forward these ‘interesting’ post won’t be staying in a separate tab.
The timeline resembles nothing like it should with interactions taking present over everything else and sometimes taken out of sync – with sponsored tweets sitting above everything else right at the top of your stream.
Twitter will now start to interweave tweets from people you don’t follow into your timeline. Not every tweet will be featured, just those which Twitter deems to be interesting or relevant and thinks that you will be interested in at that time. IF it’s anything like the ‘relevant’ ads displayed, it may be a disaster.
Twitter made a similar move to highlight interaction over all else when it updated its own Android App. Making many users switch to a more understandable and less cluttered layout with a 3rd party client. Twitter where unmoved when user expressed their distaste in this.
There is one user that this is a huge step up for and that’s business. Their
adverts tweets can be woven into you time line if they pay enough to Twitter. Adverts will become less obvious than those plastered and highlighted at the top. These won’t all come from the company themselves. One tweet about how great a person’s new purchase is could be woven into millions of user timeline without a second thought.
As Twitter is becoming less differentiated from other larger platforms such as Facebook, users are moving away from a less personal service that is becoming centered on what Twitter thinks you like. It’s becoming less that Twitter’s biggest pull was bite sized updates from users you chose to follow. Whether that be friends and family, or celebrities the masses flocked to the platform. It wasn’t bogged down in providing masses of info to you. Just 140 characters at a time.
Will these updates make a huge difference to users, we will have to wait and see. Let us know what you think in the comments or tweet us @Techaeris!