Twitter has announced a redesign to its micro-blogging service that will open up new opportunities for small businesses, major corporations and non-profits. In the company’s own words the new enhancements will make Twitter a more “compelling destination for brands.”
So wait a second, did Twitter just sell out to the suits? The answer is kinda.
Why did they do it?
Well for starters, Twitter depends on advertisers to pay its own bills and advertisers are generally businesses. Making the service more intuitive and business-friendly is, well, good for business in every sense of the word. Right now, Twitter relies on promoted tweets for the majority of its revenue. This revenue stream is somewhat limited, and a move into more lucrative services is essential if Twitter wants to keep up with both Facebook and LinkedIn.
Speaking of the social media competitive landscape, Twitter’s new brand pages will bring them in line with similar features offered by Facebook and Google. Several major brands have already partnered with Twitter for the launch, including Coca-Cola, Disney, Nike and McDonald’s.
So what new opportunities are available for businesses on Twitter?
- Customized Banners – The new brand pages will have a banner spot in between the profile information and the tweets. Having the look and feel of a traditional web banner ad, the Twitter version will allow you to update the graphic at any time, allowing you to change the look to promote new products and services, or any new promotions or sales you choose to have.
- Embeddable Tweets – Now you will have the ability to strengthen the calibre of your blog posts. This feature provides you with the opportunity to take a tweet from someone in the industry that supports the content of your post, and place that tweet directly in the body of your text.
- Pin Tweets – This function will allow you to keep a tweet at the top of your brand pages’ timeline. This will allow your tweet to not get lost amongst the replies that it may generate, allowing users several hours later to still see the original tweet that was sent out without a long search.
Well now that the #suits are invading Twitter, how will the loyal users of the service react? It’s hard to tell. Initial forays into this territory by Facebook were met with mixed and sometimes unpleasant reactions, at first. But now, business and commercial activity on Facebook is not only accepted, it’s almost as if it’s always been that way.
Allowing companies to set up shop on Facebook is generating a ton of opportunities for those businesses that have made the move, and has made a ton of money for Facebook as well. It’s safe to argue that Twitter would like a piece of this action for themselves, and that they are equally betting that they can manage their users’ reactions and ensure overall adoption and acceptance.
With the roll out happening soon, we should begin to see results and feedback immediately.
Will your business wait to see how things play out or will it be one of the first brands to embrace the new Twitter?