In the world of social media, one thing is always certain: change. It seems like every day there’s some new and improved feature being added to the popular social networks, many of which are particularly useful for small businesses. In line with this, Twitter recently rolled out a bunch of changes designed to improve user experience and make leveraging this platform more beneficial, especially from a marketing standpoint. So, without further ado, here are 5 of the latest Twitter features that you can (and should) start taking advantage of today.
Return of the 140 Character Count
Anyone who uses Twitter is painfully aware of how challenging it can be to fit all your thoughts into 140 measly characters. Further complicating this conundrum was the fact that adding media to your tweets (like images or videos) could use up a good chunk (16%) of those available characters. The good news is, Twitter recently announced that media will no longer count against your character limit. This is a big deal, since tweets with images generate about 89% more likes and 150% more retweets.
New Connect Tab
A huge part of the value of Twitter is being able to connect with relevant users, but doing so in the past seemed cumbersome and overwhelming – particularly for busy small business owners. The new “Connect” tab feature should make this task much easier and less time-consuming. Now, you can simply scan your contacts to locate people and brands to follow. The feature also provides custom recommendations based on criteria such as your location, existing followers, activity and interests.
With Twitter’s recent acquisition of live streaming video platform, Periscope, it’s no surprise that one of the newest proposed features will include the ability to broadcast live, directly through Twitter. This is big news for marketers, as it creates the opportunity to expand on the types of content they’re able to share with their followers. It’s also powerful for sharing longer thoughts and responses. Keep an eye out for announcements for when this feature will be available for you.
New Photo Display Options
Because Twitter began primarily as a text-based form of communication, the options for sharing images were relatively limited and pretty restrictive. Now that the marketing world recognizes the value of sharing images as a powerful form of engagement, Twitter has responded to the call by improving their photo display options. Users can now share uncropped photos as well as multi-photo displays within their tweets.
Dynamic GIF Search
Did you know that in 2015 alone, more than 100 million GIFs were shared on Twitter? That’s pretty impressive considering the hoops one would have to jump through in order to include an animated image in a tweet. Thankfully, Twitter’s new GIF feature allows users to search the library of available animated clips and then share instantly with just the click of a button. There’s no more saving or uploading needed, which means less wasted time on your part.
Social media is a very fluid world, where changes and improvements are rolled out on the fly. Staying abreast of these updates can help you better perform on your social channels, which in turn can make your business more competitive and profitable.