The popular social platform Twitter recently made some updates aimed at keeping their social tool among the best on mobile devices.
As a recap, social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and even YouTube have been continually updating their mobile apps for better user functionality. The Facebook app has increased the real estate of images and other interactive content, while also allowing for quicker navigation through pages, friends, apps, and more. Instagram has expanded their functionality on mobile devices after its purchase by Facebook, making it easier to update a profile and find other accounts of interest to follow. Even YouTube has released a slick mobile app for IOS devices which allows for sharper navigation than ever before. So what about Twitter?
Twitter originally took hold of the social mobile market thanks to its easy to use interface and minimal data needs to share information. As mobile devices of all kinds have improved in basic technology specs and upgraded data plans, a larger emphasis has been placed on content sharing, not just status updates. To align itself better with this mobile content market and keep its place among the elite mobile app echelon, Twitter unveiled this month new features that highlight profiles and images.
The first major update you’ll notice is a Twitter “header photo” on a profile page. Similar to Facebook’s timeline cover photo, the header photo will allow users to add a large, unique image at the top of their profile which also includes their personal avatar photo. Many users have already found quirky ways to use this feature, while others have taken it upon themselves to use this opportunity to add more visual flair to their page, promoting their brand or really making their page jump to visitors with a grabbing image. The functionality of this is great too, as Twitter allows you to update this photo from your mobile profile settings by uploading a picture directly from your device, or choosing to snap a live photo on the spot.
In conjunction with this, a user’s avatar photo is now front and center in this header photo instead of neglected to the side navigation. This is a great step to really help with an account’s branding, as their “Twitter identity” so to speak appears in the middle of their page. It will also familiarize visitors with this image as they then continue to see the avatar in their timeline or on status updates around the network. Again, in partnership with the header photo, many users are finding unique ways to combine the two images to make them visually engaging.
Twitter has also increased the prominence of a user’s shared photos across all platforms. On a profile page on mobile devices, a photo stream now appears along the bottom for quick and easy browsing access. In a web browser, this photo stream appears much closer to the top of the page and has easily accessible images as well.
Finally, a minor update on web browsers, but the top navigation now has a “Me” link which will bring users directly to their profile page. Oddly enough, this feature hasn’t been available before, resulting in a clunky navigation through “Home” and then a profile link in order to see your own page. No more though, as the profile page now remains one click away regardless of where you are.
So what does this all mean for you or your business? A couple of things, actually. It means content like photos and videos will be much more accessible and hold higher value in the social platform. Whereas before people could get decent value out of simply posting links and status updates with only text in them, it is clear that Twitter is becoming more and more content friendly. With this prominence, you also have to be careful about what you post for content, too. With a history of photos easily within reach for any visitor, it’s good practice to post things you know will be appropriate. Beyond that though, it offers an easy opportunity for your content to go viral, as more and more people will be able to access it with ease.