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 Twitter.com 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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ABOUT ME

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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