Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Twitter Changes It Up, Too

In an attempt to become more social media-savvy, I created a Twitter account about two years ago. Since then, I must admit that I haven't exactly offered my followers much in terms of updates about my life (or anything, for that matter). With the help of this class, however, I hope to change that habit and develop a stronger presence among the online community. One of the best ways to do that is to blog about Twitter, right? If the answer is no, I'm going to do it anyway.

If you're like me and could use some help mastering the digital world around you, then you may not have noticed that everyone is "going mobile" these days. Can you name at least one person in your life who doesn't own a smartphone or tablet, whether it's an iPhone or Android device? I can probably name one, maybe two. Many companies have noticed this trend and have redirected their marketing and usability efforts based on the increased use of mobile devices. Twitter is the most recent to do so.

For those of you who don't know what Twitter is, it's a social media platform that allows users to post updates and share links about, well, anything. For example, my Twitter account, @MeganShares, features updates related to this blog. In the future I will probably work to expand the range of topics outside of this blog, but for now I'm taking baby steps.

In any case, Twitter has become kind of a big deal, and wants to stay that way. To accomplish this, they have created a "mobile first" strategy that achieved two goals: creating a look and feel that more than ever resembles Facebook's, and asserting new dominance over users' Twitter experience.

So what changes can we expect? According to the article on CNET News, Twitter has enhanced profiles, added a new photo stream, and created an all-new iPad app.

"Twitter has been trying for some time to bring all of its apps together under a consistent user experience umbrella. Twitter wants users to feel like they have the same... experience regardless of how they access their tweets - through iPhone or Android of Twitter.com," states Laura Dugan, a social media consultant who writes about Twitter for MediaBistro. "And the reasoning is pretty simple: Twitter doesn't make as much money when a user sees tweets through a third-party app."

Now what I'm curious about is how this will affect some third-party alternatives. In any case, Twitter is bound to see an increase in customer satisfaction due to these changes, in addition to rendering their services more closely to what they prefer. As I've mentioned before, only time will tell if this is true.