In the realm of social media, Twitter’s unique value proposition has always been it’s real-time quality. Because of this, Twitter became a platform of choice for breaking news in journalism, and it probably also gave birth to real time marketing (for better and/or worse). In the Twitterverse, time has been of the essence.
However, Twitter recently announced a number of planned changes and upgrades that will change the nature of users’ experience on the platform. These features are intended to attract new users and boost engagement with logged-out users. Among these planned changes are native video uploads and an upgrade to direct messaging.
However, two of the new features will focus on the kind of content users see in their timeline, and the way Twitter will accomplish this is by presenting more quality content. Timing and timeliness will now live side by side with news-reader-style curated content.
1. See What You Miss When You Leave Us?
The first of these features is While You Were Away, which, when an “absent” user logs back in, will show them popular, relevant content that they missed while they were logged out. This is a definite departure from real-time, with the stated goal that “you’ll see something great” every time you log in.
The implications for content production are clear: quality content that engages. Basically, a kind of ranking algorithm in Twitter.
2. You, Too, Could Have All of This!
The second such feature is what Twitter is calling Instant Timeline, which will address the learning curve and time investment needed for new users to populate their timeline. New users will be presented with a stream of tweets, based on selection(s) they make from a menu of topic categories. Rather like a news reader, it seems.
Again, it appears there will be a ranking algorithm of some sort to determine which tweets or streams will get displayed under categories such as “Sports” or “Technology”. So, again, the ante is upped for quality, relevance ad engagement.
Content quality… semantic topic relevance… user experience… a familiar refrain, isn’t it?