Hands up if you love Twitter? I know I do. But lately, it seems there’s been a lot talk about what Twitter’s purpose actually is - and where it’s heading in the future.
We’re in a very visual world right now and it’s becoming more visual every single day. So it’s really no wonder Twitter’s 140 character limit might be flying out the window, right?
But for me, Twitter will always be my favourite, and I don’t think it shows signs of going anywhere. If anything, I think this social platform is embracing the changes our digital world is heading in and has some big things up its sleeve. And over the past few months, there’s been a lot of updates to this little platform.
Experts everywhere have rounded up the latest updates for you to look through. But I wanted to tell you about them from a blogger to a blogger. Here we go.
#1 | GIFs are go
Seen people sharing GIFs a lot on Twitter recently? That’s because one of the newest and biggest features of the platform is the ability to share GIFs.
These are becoming HUGE. People are using them in emails, blog posts and now - social media. If you watch closely enough, you’ll start to see them everywhere.
Now on Twitter, you can search for GIFs really easily on a mobile device. All you do is go to create a new tweet, and then halfway down the page, you’ll see the option to search for a GIF, alongside the photo option. There are loads to choose from - give it a go and just watch how much engagement you get.
#2 | You can watch Periscope broadcasts live on Twitter
Periscope is a fairly new platform in the world of social media - I’ve only done less than ten broadcasts. But some people have started to incorporate it into their online strategy and see a lot of results through this channel.
Now, you can actually watch live broadcasts on Twitter, within a tweet. So when someone goes live on Periscope, they share when their broadcast goes live on Twitter. Usually, you’ve got to click on the link within the tweet and open the Periscope app to watch a broadcast. Now, you can tap on a Periscope video from your Twitter timeline, it’ll go full screen and there you go - you don’t even need to have the Periscope app.
This is fantastic, because it blurs the line between the two apps and forces them to come together in a really great way. It’s like a whole other dimension has been added to Twitter.
#3 | Why not host a poll?
I'm sure by now you've all seen a poll, voted in one or hosted one yourself on Twitter.
This social platform has always been my favourite for one reason in particular - interaction. It's the best place to find like-minded people you can bounce ideas off and connect with, plus you can really get to know more about your audience. That's where polls come in.
Polls let you ask questions to your Twitter followers to find out what they really want. You can ask them about blog post ideas, design feedback and basically, anything you want. Any Twitter user can set up a poll and it lasts for 24 hours before you get to see the results.
The only things you need to know are that you're limited to four answers options, and tweeters will be told how long is left to vote, how many people have voted and what the results are too. It's good to try experimenting with them - but make sure they're purposeful too.
#4 | Favourites are likes
This definitely isn't anything new to bloggers - but it's still a brand new feature for the platform. Stars have officially become hearts, the reason being that it made Twitter easier to understand for new users. It seemed that people were confused by what a "favourite" actually meant, whereas a heart is much more universal. Plus "likes" are used by other channels such as Instagram, Facebook and Periscope.
I wasn't so sure when I first saw the hearts, but now I've got used to it and I bet you have too. If anything, since the change has been made, my engagement on Twitter has gone up.
So even though you might not have been a fan at first, it's safe to say that likes and hearts are here to stay.
#5 | Other things in the pipeline
- Changes to @'s - this causes a lot of problems for users of the platform, so it's safe to say that some changes will be made regarding mentions. There's even a chance they might be removed from the character limit.
- Removal of the character limit - I'll be honest here and say I really don't want this to happen. Twitter is all about 140 characters, but there have been talks about removing this altogether. Yes, it's a constraint but Twitter is evolving. It'll be interesting to see what they do.
- A separate messaging app - messenger has been huge for Facebook, which is probably why Twitter want to to jump on board a messaging app too. With DMs we don't have a word count anymore - there might be room for Twitter to make something completely unique.
So there you go - a quick one-stop look at the latest updates to Twitter that bloggers need to know about. It's going to be an interesting time for this social platform to say the least!
I hope this post has been useful for you. If you're tweeting, you can find me @abranchofholly
Is Twitter one of your favourite platforms? What do you make to these new changes?