The New, New Twitter and What It Means to You and Your Business

The new, new Twitter is upon us and while some of you already have access to it, others will have to wait up to three weeks. I’m not one to write about new features or products as they’re released. But I would like to take some time to review why this version of Twitter is important to you and your business.

Twitter has undergone nothing short of a complete redesign…again. The new experience offers a much needed simplification. After all, almost six years following its debut, one of the most common searches for “how do you use…” on Google, is still…Twitter. With over 200 million Tweets soaring across Twitter everyday, the service is now aspiring to become something your father or mother or even your “sister” can easily understand and use.

Unveiled through a tagline of “let’s fly,” the new, new Twitter centers around five distinct tabs, Home, Connect, Discover, Me, and Tweet. Each tab presents a dedicated page that presents a snapshot of important features tied to particular actions or interests.

Home: One of the most notable improvements is in the intuitiveness of the design. The format is also now consistent. What you see on for example is the same as the Twitter app on smartphones and Tablets.I should also mention that TweetDeck be viewed as a TwitterPro version and is also now available on the Web.

Now, you have access to what you need in a simple and functional layout.On the “Home” page, you will find your social stream of course in addition to trends, recommended people, DMs, etc.

@Connect: The Connect tab is where you can see who’s talking about you as well as who’s interacting with you or your Tweets. The tab offers two views, “Interactions” and “Mentions.” Under Interactions, you can view conversations and Retweets, who’s now following you, who favorited your Tweets, who added you to a list, and other activities related to you. Mentions is just that…Tweets mentioning your @ name.

#Discover: As Twitter so appropriately states, the Discover tab is where simplicity meets serendipity. I love that…it’s very true and also it is serendipity that makes the egosystem so personal, exciting and valuable at once. In the egosystem, everything literally revolves around you. Your experience on Twitter is defined by who you follow, who they follow, trends based on relationships, and the interactions you have as a result. These interactions are unique to you and that is true for each of us. What you see is not what I see and that keeps things exciting. The new Twitter framework ensures that discovery and also serendipity remains personal.

Get Embed with Twitter

Before we move on, I’d like to call attention to one additional update to the Twitter experience. With the new Twitter framework, certain elements become portable to websites, blogs and other web platforms. To begin, Twitter is now making Tweets officially embeddable. As you know, there’s more to any Tweet than 140 or less characters. There are experiences, conversations, and expressions behind each. Not only will visitors see the Tweet wherever it may be embedded, Tweets become living pieces of interactive media wherever they’re placed.

Yes, embedded Tweets are portable and fully functional. Visitors can Reply, Retweet, Favorite or Follow without leaving your page, simply by clicking the respective trigger on the Tweet itself.

Twitter also improved its Tweet and Follow buttons. The new #hashtag button tells visitors that there is a relevant conversation taking place on Twitter and allows them to follow or join in with just one click. The @mention button gives people a shortcut to easily Tweet you and any desired account.

Go here to design your custom Twitter buttons.

Brand Pages

If you’ve ever clicked on a Promoted Tweet, you were either sent to a custom landing page, a traditional website, or perhaps a Facebook brand page. With Twitter’s new brand pages, it hopes businesses will design Twitter experiences that keep you in Twitter. It also hopes to increase the value of its Promoted products overall by giving brands more control in how they market themselves to consumers.

Twitter’s Chief Revenue Officer Adam Bain recently shared that in his meetings with CMOs over the past year, the most recurring requests focused specifically on brandable pages. Like its bigger social siblings Google+ and Facebook, Twitter’s brand pages have officially taken flight. Enhanced profile pages as Twitter refers to them, give marketers the ability to shape the impressions of visitors while adhering to the brand style guide. Previously, businesses were confined to creative backgrounds and bios as well as their Tweets to define the brand experience. Now Twitter gives brands more control in how consumers view the company in Twitter…free of charge. And, Twitter removes outside advertising from each brand page.

For examples and perhaps to glean insights into best practices, Twitter launched with 21 advertising partners. You can view their enhanced profile pages by clicking each brand: @AmericanExpress, @BestBuy, @bing, @chevrolet, @CocaCola, @Dell, @DisneyPixar, @generalelectric, @Heineken, @HP, @intel, @JetBlue, @Kia, @McDonalds, @nikebasketball, @NYSE_Euronext, Paramount Pictures’ Mission: Impossible – @GhostProtocol, @pepsi, @Staples, @subwayfreshbuzz, and @VerizonWireless.

What does this mean for businesses specifically?

1. Businesses can host a branded experience for consumers in Twitter without forcing them outside of their preferred network

2. Brands can adhere to brand style guides to present a uniform color, typeface, presence, etc.

3. Guide the consumer experience with intentionally presented Tweets, media, and information.

4. Chart a new click path that starts with a Promoted Tweet and/or media to lead consumers on a more meaningful journey that can start and end in Twitter or continue outside of the information network. Much in the same way Facebook offers landing tabs, Twitter can offer a similar experience that changes based on the priorities of the brand.

5. Allow brands to present a more engageable profile where people follow companies because of the thoughtfulness that is invested in presentation and a meaningful Tweet stream. Brands are now measured not only by their actions, but also their words and content.

It’s now your turn. Are you ready to take flight on the new, new Twitter?

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  • Jeff Pester

    Hi Brian – hoping you can clarify something for me. In your #Discover section you say ” everything literally revolves around you. Your experience … is defined by who you follow, who they follow, trends based on relationships, and the interactions you have as a result.”

    I’m confused how a hashtag search (as one method of discovery) revolves around any of the types of pre-existing graph relationships and/or interactions that you refer to? A hashtag search doesn’t reference any those graph-dependent variables. Am I missing something? Thanks in advance.

    • briansolis

      Hi Jeff, it’s a function of the Discover tag, which they use the “#” sign as its icon. Hope that answers your question. You are right…I think the icon confuses it a bit.

    • Jeff Pester

      Thank You! Since I don’t have it yet I haven’t been able to test the functionality. Much appreciated Brian.

  • Social Bullets

    Desperately waiting for this new design in my town.. and this will change the social media again..
    Little bit or might be effect more than we thought.

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  • Nick Dunse

    Most people like myself who finally started to figure out twitter now redirected again….I think Ill just talk with someone today face to face, human to human…

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  • Tufail Shahzad

    @briansolis:disqus i want to comment on one thing that is “Embed” feature of tweets, Google + take ideas from Twitter “Follow=Circle” Following=In Circle and in my point of view this idea came from G+ “Link to this post=Embed Tweet” am i right? Other marketing principles will remain the same as you mentioned in the “Engage and End of Business” that “Content” is very important and our personal influence also important and i think G+ take ideas from your opinions after reading your books that’s why in G+ Real Time Post (no automated/scheduled posts)

  • Karyn Cooks

    Started playing around with it the other day and, if I could, I’d embed my tweet in support of the Discovery feature. Love it. Plan to experiment with the embed feature on behalf of client whose internal social resources are somewhat limited. While I don’t want want to feed their Twitter stream to their FB page, I do think the occasional enhanced view of either their own tweet, or one from a valued partner, on to their page will be a fresh way to engage.

  • Mike McGrail

    Hi Brian, great break down thanks! Twitter have clearly spent some serious time on this and it shows.

  • Kathleen

    cool I am ready

  • parkerhunt

    Brian, in this day it’s hard to keep up with change.  Your post made it just a tad easier.  Thanks!  Also,   I’m immediately forwarding to last night’s date who said “I don’t know the first thing about how to use Twitter”… and he lives in San Francisco.

  • Linda Sherman

    Thank you Brian for this excellent post on #NewNewTwitter for business complete with screen shots.

  • Robert J Banach

    Brian – Thanks for a great review of the ‘new’ Twitter, I have shared this site w/ my groups!

  • Kit

    “…something your mother or even your sister can easily understand and use.”

    The implication here is that female family members are technically incompetent. Have you ever considered that this kind of low-level, incidental sexism, which women encounter widely and frequently, may perhaps be (a) unwarranted; (b) offensive to the many mothers and sisters who are far more IT-literate than any of their male relatives; (c) self-fulfilling (women realize that being apparently technically clueless is more socially acceptable than showing any aptitude).

    Please help break down sexist stereotypes, don’t reinforce them. Thank you.

    • Blah

      What more likely. Yes, that females are not as technologically inclined. Computer’s are 99% man created, hence they are more logical based. Reason you don’t see many mechanics or diesel fitter females. Go back in your cave.

      Thank you.

    • Csw14psu

      I rest my case.

  • Becky Carroll

    Thanks for sharing these insights, Brian! Hopefully brands as well as individuals will take the time to improvectheir engagement with others using these tabs and tools.

  • Adam Sullivan

    “Yes, embedded tweets are portable and fully functional.” I just started using Disqus, which I’m writing this comment on. The new Twitter could replace it, easily. 

  • :: Kim Sherrell ::::

    Thank you for the post, Brian. I am stoked that brands can customized their banner and provide a better UX directly on their Pages. These are welcome additions, to be sure.

    From the user perspective, I can’t see where the new tabs offer anything in the way of meaning or relevance. I tested quite a few keywords and the streams are just as noisy, random, and chaotic as ever.

    Twitter’s Trending Topics are still too much in my face and 99.9% irrelevent, despite the huge pile of rich data that Twitter has on me. I’d love to see a way to allow users to opt in/out of TTTs and Promoted Tweets. Permission marketing is where it’s at.

  • Kfoxt11

    Great, but what about some organization for our Twitter followers? Culling through followers trying to find someone is grueling. I usually just do a Google search instead.

    • briansolis

      Hopefully someone on the dev team reads this post and prioritizes that feature. I would like it as well!

    • Jim Traister

      Kfoxt11…you might find @formulist to be of help with organizing twitter followers. 

  • Juan Felix

    Thanks Brian for this great article. I enjoyed it very much, you offer a lot of take aways and I shared it with my peeps.

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  • Mtechman

    How can this be a review if you don’t mention the usability problems of pale gray text on white background? Also, like most people, my eyes go to the left first, which is where I see the things I don’t use as much. New, new Twitter has a few good new features, not many and a look I really don’t like. I’d be more inclined to pay attention to a Promoted Band that cares about usability – haven’t seen any, though.

    • briansolis

      This isn’t a review of the new Twitter…nor its UI (which isn’t the best at all). I do say upfront however, that it is a review as to why this is important for business.

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  • Fabrizio Van Marciano

    Looks so promising already, thanks for the insight Brian look forward to when it’s rolled out to everyone else.

  • dissertation online help

    very cool post! thank you

  • Dave Sachse

    I’ve been a long time twitter user and enjoy a few features that I’ve already explored but have not done a full analysis or review of all the changes.

    Brian or anyone who may know, does the “New” Twitter enable users to see what topics are trending per category (not by location) but rather the trending topics in categories: business, sports, tech, entertainment, etc.  I truly believe that would enable users to “Discover” more data (people, info, etc) that is relevant to them.  I look forward to the UI continuing to evolve as there is great potential for improvement.  It may help users (specifically new users) with the question: how do I utilize Twitter for my world? 

    Thanks for the post Brian,

    Dave @DSox


Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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