Will New Twitter Features Change the Platform?
If you’re an avid Twitter user like myself, you are probably a huge fan of the microblogging format that has always set Twitter apart from the other leading social media platforms; most notably Facebook, Instagram, and now Tik Tok.
While we have to admit that for the purpose of social media marketing, the power that Facebook and Instagram have in terms of converting followers into customers is almost second to none. Yet, when used correctly, Twitter’s unique ability to drive traffic back to a website by means of linking a blog or article makes Twitter an incredibly useful tool for content marketing because of the way that it allows brands to engage in meaningful conversations with audiences (and allowing them to dunk on the occasional competitor). Additionally, Twitter is also incredibly handy for SEO reasons.
And to be honest, Twitter has always just been my social media of choice. Something about the short-form content format makes it all that more entertaining. But I digress.
Despite the value that Twitter can add to brands who use it in their social media marketing strategy, it is often overlooked and underused. The reason for this is because for many business owners who want to see a near-instant ROI, Facebook and Instagram reign supreme all thanks to features like Stories and the diversity of content formats that the platforms allow.
But that might all be changing very soon.
Twitter Introduces New Media Features
In the last week, Twitter has rolled out two new features, one of which is still in the process of limited testing for Brazilian audiences. The first feature is Twitter’s Voice Note feature, the other feature is called Fleets. This is Twitter’s take on the “Stories” feature that every other platform also has.
So what are these new Twitter features, how do they work, and what does this mean for the future of social media marketing on Twitter? Are these features game-changers, or do they largely detract from the appeal of Twitter?
What are Twitter Voice Notes?
Twitter’s Voice Notes are a feature where users can record and attach an audible message to their tweets, much like they would an image or video. The time limits for the voice note are the same as videos at 2:20.
This feature was added to Twitter because they wanted to add a more personal, human, touch to Tweets that would otherwise be lost in translation over text.
So you can now send voice notes on Twitter! Cool, but what does this mean for the way that brands create content? Are they going to need to adjust? Is it even worth it to adjust?
My initial thought is that there is no way that a brand could use this feature to help promote their products and services that they couldn’t already do by posting a video. In fact, the video does more for them because there is an added visual element.
That being said, it could be a great tool for individuals who want to have a more personal element to their brand. For example, a celebrity, musician, or artist who wants to give a shoutout to a fan or make a quick announcement, can now do it without having to record a whole video. Perfect for on the fly ideas.
While very cool, for now, this feature seems limited and a half step down from videos which are proven to increase the level of engagement from followers.
Twitter’s Fleets (Fleeting Tweets)
The other feature that Twitter is rolling out is called Fleets as in fleeting tweets. This is essentially a Tweet that stays up for 24 hours with Likes, Retweets, and public replies disabled. After 24 hours, the Tweet disappears.
This new Twitter feature is essentially the bird app’s take on the Stories feature that can be found on just about every major social media platform. Better late than never, I guess.
On the one hand, it is good that Twitter will introduce this feature because it has had a lot of success with pushing more conversions on Instagram. I’d argue that Stories are almost more important than actual posts on Instagram when it comes to promoting goods or services.
One the other hand, this is that it is one more step in a direction that makes all of the social media platforms feel all too similar.
Also, the fact that Fleets cannot be retweeted, liked, or publicly replied to means that the content will not circulate around the internet. This means that your content will have a limited audience compared to just sending a Tweet.
Ultimately, only time will tell if this is good for Twitter and whether brands can actually harness these new features to generate excitement around their brands. These changes will likely make Twitter more accessible to brands who can now use Stories much as they do on Instagram and Facebook.
Change is uncomfortable and sometimes weird, leaving us feeling nostalgic for the Twitter of Old, but with change comes innovation and new ways of approaching old formats.
It’s too early to tell how these changes will affect the way that brands use social media, but our hope is that this will take Twitter to their next evolution as a social media platform, effectively changing the way we use it. Brands that can wrap their head around these new changes will surely come out ahead on the other end!