Ranked 7th place of all social media, Twitter makes changes to attract users back to the author of the ‘hashtag’.
The world of social media is rapidly changing as users chase the newest, shiniest social tool on the block. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube are in constant competition for the biggest share.
When Twitter launched, Facebook was busy promoting itself as a platform to talk and share photos with people we knew in real life. Twitter saw an opportunity to simplify this communication process by limiting status updates to 140 characters, and enabling communication with any Twitter user in the world. Celebrities were quick to jump on the platform, using it as an easy tool to communicate directly with their fans, bypassing publicists and printed media.
The general public were quick to follow. From 2010 to 2015 Twitter’s active worldwide users climbed from 30 million to 300 million. However, over the past 18 months growth has stalled. As of May 2016, Twitter has fallen to the 7th most popular social network in Australia, with 2.8 million monthly active users.
Consumer love for shiny new toys has seen the rise of Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr. While Twitter has stayed true to it’s original unique selling point of 140 characters or less, user demands for social networks has grown. While users can currently add photos, videos and links, it’s often a struggle to fit all these media links into 140 characters.
Twitter has noticed that usage of their social network is slipping, and have announced some exciting new features to their product in a bid to lure people back.
New Twitter Features
- Replies: replying to someone using their @reallylongusername, will no longer count as part of your 140 character limit.
- Media Attachments: Adding photos, GIFs, videos, polls or Quote Tweets will also no longer count towards your character limit.
- Retweet and Quote Yourself: We all know those people who love to Like their Facebook status, well now they’ll also be able to Retweet and quote their Tweets. While this may seem like a fun new tool, keep in mind the annoyance factor for your audience if you kept repeating the same thing over and over again to them. This could result in negative feelings towards your brand. If you do want to reach your audience with a repeated message, don’t Retweet your old message, instead change the way you are selling your message and make a new Tweet.
- Replies In The Newsfeed: Currently as a default, when replying to someone’s Tweet, your username doesn’t appear in the newsfeed. Most users bypass this rule by putting a dot in front of their reply, (.@username) to trick the newsfeed into displaying their reply Tweet. Now by default, all replies will appear in the newsfeed, removing the need to trick the system.
Twitter will be rolling out these changes over the coming months, so keep watch for more room in your Tweets. Whether Twitter manages to regain audience share or not, it will forever be renowned for introducing hashtags to everyday vocabulary.