When Twitter launched it’s IPO a couple of months ago, one of the things predicted on this blog was that Twitter would soon begin adding new features and functions to increase its value to marketers and the public at large. This has already come to pass in some ways as Twitter has made several announcements of changes in December and there are rumors of bigger things on the horizon.
Back in September, Twitter launched a Twitter Alert service that could be used to notify people during a crisis or emergency. Now, the system has become more robust and more than 30 countries have been added. Users can opt in to the service and have information about emergencies sent directly to their handheld device. While this may seem like unimportant news for marketers (except for those working with emergency management), the takeaway for all business owners is that this service will encourage people to sign up for Twitter. And once people are signed up for Twitter, they will begin to use the platform and become good targets for social media marketing campaigns.
Twitter has also launched a conversion tracking tool that is particularly useful for social media marketers. The new tool provides metrics similar to those on Facebook Insights. The new engagement measure has attributes for clicks, tweet expands, retweets, replies, favorites and follows. Advertisers on Twitter will also find new features to measure the conversion rate of their promoted tweets. Making it easier to track the performance of marketing efforts on Twitter will encourage more marketers to adopt the platform as a part of their campaign.
There are also some rumors about major changes to the platform on the horizon. According to an exclusive from The Desk, sources say that Twitter will be adding an edit feature for tweets. The plan is believed to allow slight changes to tweets, such as adding a word or two or fixing a typo, that means errors can be fixed without deleted the tweet while at the same time, preserving the original intent of the tweet as it was originally published.
There may also be big changes on the horizon for profile pages on the platform. At present, a Twitter profile is essential a list of tweets with a header and bio on top. Bloomberg reported that potential redesign elements include images, a feature that highlights the most popular tweets, and better mobile capabilities.
“This is all part of the long-term story of Twitter improving their user offerings and improving their advertising offerings to ultimately drive more ad dollars,” said Brian Nowak, of Susquehanna Financial Group, in the Bloomberg article.
This focus on advertising-friendly development may be a reason that Twitter is also reported to be working on location-based tweet recommendations. According to the Wall Street Journal digital blog, the Twitter mobile app is adding a “Nearby” feature. It would allow for more targeted advertising and let encourage users to share their location in tweets.
It’s already becoming clear that 2014 will be a big year for marketers who want to reach audiences on Twitter. With stockholders to please, Twitter is wasting no time in ramping up the features and usefulness of its platform. Every small improvement is one more reason for marketers to consider including Twitter advertising in the marketing budget because every improvement brings more people to the platform. There are 218 million active users on Twitter and the number is growing everyday. And thanks to these and future improvements, reaching audiences on Twitter will be easier than ever before.