It is important for Green Umbrella to keep ahead of the game when it comes to all things social media related. Online Marketing is such a fast-moving industry, and it is one reason why I still love what I do. Each week I produce a weekly email of “the latest developments in social media” for our coaching club clients. It is essential that we are giving the most up to date information, advice and apps so that our clients can keep ahead of their competitors.
Surely this process is the same for social networking sites? Platforms need to keep developing new features and continue to move forward if they are going to survive in this cut-throat world. In all honesty, I could write a whole book on the new features and developments of Facebook over the last three months, but can I same the same for Twitter? No.
New developments for Twitter in the last three months
It suddenly dawned on me that Twitter has not implemented anything that is the slightest bit exciting since the launch of Periscope in 2015. Other products that have worked really well, such as Twitter Vine, are now not supported. So what on earth has Twitter been spending their time on in the last few years?
#1 – Twitter remove locked accounts from follower counts
If you have many “spam” followers, then the introduction of this feature in July would have made a dent in the number of followers you have. I have seen many agencies pay £5 to www.fivr.com and purchase a thousand followers so that their clients look popular by having a high number of followers. In July, Twitter started the process of culling “spam” accounts. If a Twitter account has an unusual activity, or if the owner does not respond to a message sent directly from Twitter then the account will be removed. If you have seen a dramatic decrease in your followers then this may be the reason why. To find out if you have a high fake following, then run your account through this free test – www.fakers.statuspeople.com (note: the average fake score is 6% – so anything above that really needs your attention).
#2 – You can no longer cross-post your Tweets to Facebook
In my opinion, this was a good move from Twitter, although it is a few years too late. Considering LinkedIn pulled this process back in 2012, it is crazy that it has taken six years for Twitter to catch up!
#3 – Twitter pulls the plug on third-party tools for push notifications and refreshed posts
I read this announcement and then scratched my head. What on earth is Twitter playing at? Twitter is trying to force people into using the Twitter native app rather than third-party tools such as TweetBot, etc. In August, Twitter severed the ability for third-party tools to allow push notifications for @mentions or Direct Messages for external tools. They also forced the third-party apps to remove the ability to autorefresh your Twitter feed, which means that you physically have to click refresh to see your new timeline. I personally feel that Twitter may have shot themselves in the foot with this latest development, but time will tell.
#4 – Twitter suggests accounts that you should unfollow
As I type, I am smiling to myself at the same time as shaking my head! Twitter is a social network, so what is social about suggesting people to unfollow? Can you imagine the research and development team sitting in the boardroom discussing the new features and a young pup says “I know, let's start suggesting that certain accounts are rather crappy and that people should unfollow them” – others around the table start nodding in agreement and now we have this new crappy feature! (sorry for the language, but I do think that this update is rather daft!).
#5 – Twitter releases their events calendar
This was HUGE! Yes, it was very exciting to hear that Twitter has launched an events calendar. As soon as I read about the update earlier this year I clicked the link with anticipation. The events calendar is usually published at the end of the month and will give you key events that Twitter will predict to be popular over the next 30 days. Although this is an interesting read, I think that most content creators would already have their content written and scheduled by the time the calendar is released, but it is always worth a look to see if there are any events that you can add to your content. Here is September's event calendar.
#6 – Twitter rolls out “audio live stream” on Twitter and Periscope
I read with interest this week that Twitter is now launching an audio live stream service. This is the first sign of true innovation that we have seen from Twitter since the launch of Periscope. It is great that they have recognised that not everyone is comfortable in front of a camera and that not everyone has the time to sit and watch someone talking online. Listening and just providing audio content is not unlike a podcast, but to have this as a live feature is very exciting. High five to Twitter.
So what is the future of Twitter? There is certainly a place for Twitter. It excels as a platform for communicating with people at events or trade shows, and it is also the go-to platform for the latest up to date news. I hope that Twitter spends more time on being innovative, otherwise we will see the platform die a slow death. (In my opinion).