Last week, Twitter announced some major changes that will affect how both users and businesses use and spend time on the site. In general, Twitter is being designed to make it easier for people to follow and discover stories, news, debates or other things they care about and over time giving better opportunities for brands to connect with consumers.
Here’s a sum up of the most prominent changes:
The new design is a much bigger change than last time, which now has more of the same feel as when using an app. The change is focused on keeping people a longer time on Twitter to follow conversations and see how they evolve.
’Home’ is still your feed as you know it, but now with better options to keep track of replies, retweets and embedded media.
In the new ‘Connect’, it is now possible to distinguish between interactions and the @mentions. This way it is easier to keep track of who is retweeting you and following up on conversations.
The biggest change is to be found in the ’Discover’ function that provides you with information customized for you depending on your interests. As you use Twitter, the feature will be better at serving you content.
Also mobile and web apps have had new interface design rolled out. According to Twitter, if you install the new version on your iPhone, iPad or Android device, you will be updated to the new version next time you log on. This seems to have worked for a lot of people, but not yet for me 🙁
You can read more about the new design at fly.twitter.com
Launches brand pages
Along with the redesign, brands will now have a better opportunity to use Twitter with ‘brand pages.’ So far there has been no difference between regular profiles and the many brands with a Twitter profile.
According to Adage, the new brand pages will of course have the redesigned feel, but it will also be possible to customize a large header image to display a logo or a tagline. Another option available to brands is to have a “sticky” tweet stay on top of the page’s timeline that will appear auto-expanded to greet viewers with whatever content is displayed. Moreover, @ replies and mentions will be separated to make it easier for brands to drive customer-service oriented conversations.
So far, the brand pages are being launched together with 21 commercial partners. It is still not clear when or whether the brand pages will be open for other brands or whether it will be possible to convert a regular profile into a branded page.
But still – looks like Twitter is stepping up the competition to Google+ and Linkedin, who has also recently created space for special brand presences – and of course Facebook who has been there for some time now.