In an attempt to tackle harassment and digital bullying, Twitter recently introduced 3 new changes: tracking suspended accounts to block users from creating additional abusive accounts, removing Tweets with “potentially sensitive content” from search results, and collapsing tweets marked with abusive keywords or low-quality replies.
Twitter also attempted to take these changes a step further by altering list notifications. Twitter users are able to create lists that act as separate feeds – and users added to these lists receive notifications. These lists often have a shared theme of a particular topic or event and are curated by the list creator. In a poorly thought-out attempt to cut down on unnecessary notifications, Twitter removed these. After 2 hours of immediate backlash, Twitter reversed the change. Users complained that if they were not notified of being added to a list, they were more vulnerable to targeting.
After a financially difficult 2016, Twitter has followed Facebook’s suit and has been expanding Periscope and Twitter Moments. Periscope intends to keep up with the growth of Facebook Live while Twitter Moments is evolving into a high-quality feed of curated tweets, news, videos, and music. Whether or not this will be enough to keep Twitter afloat is yet to be seen, but it has improved the user experience and increased advertising opportunities.
Starting in March, Twitter will start releasing monthly calendars for marketers. The calendars are meant to help marketing agencies and departments plan topical campaigns, tailor messaging, and provide a “point of view” with Periscope live streaming. The March calendar includes dates for Paris Fashion Week, March Madness, St. Patrick’s Day and more. Events listed also include an estimated number of Tweet impressions based on past data. While it’s not super useful yet, it could become a powerful marketing tool in the future if developed thoughtfully.
Twitter, unlike Facebook, has been notoriously non-transparent about its algorithm changes and in explaining what type of content will succeed on its feed. Recently, however, Twitter cleared up some confusion by stating that its new algorithm changes aim to lift higher quality content, reduce spam, and show consumers what they actually want to see. While this sounds like a godsend to users, it’s a big red flag for marketers.
As a result of a series of algorithm changes, Twitter is no longer a timeline. It is now a feed determined by relevancy. It appears that the platform now notes which profiles you engage with on a regular basis and gives preference to those profiles on your feed. The tweets from those profiles are probably being lifted to the top of your feed and everything else is being bumped down (even more recent tweets). Check out the order of the time stamps on your feed and you’ll see what I mean.
The pressure is on more than ever for companies and other professional profiles to drive engagement in order to stay relevant, and thus visible.
In a recent podcast interview with Buffer, Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner predicted that Twitter will start punishing re-posted evergreen content in the next year or two. This prediction is consistent with Twitter’s recent announcements and its attempts to keep users’ feeds relevant.
He believes that Twitter’s algorithm is becoming sophisticated enough to be able to recognize repeated content and destination URLs. Such content will either be bumped far down in users’ feeds or potentially hidden completely. For businesses that rely on evergreen content in order to post regularly (or use tools like Meet Edgar) this is a tough blow.
He explained his strategy this way: “due to the implementation of algorithms over the last year or so, we’ve completely gotten rid of our evergreen reposting strategy on Twitter and LinkedIn and only selectively repost to Facebook.” But since this change hasn’t yet hit in full force, Stelzner stated that reworking your evergreen posts is okay…for now. By at least changing your images and text, you can repost content without much fear of being punished. But prepare for possibly ditching your evergreen distribution strategy by the end of the year.
Need a little cheering up?
Check out this cool new app called Keep Or Delete, which allows you to quickly clean up your old tweets. It has a similar user interface to Tinder, but helps clean up your life instead of making it more complicated. Neat!
Or get back onto Twitter and start using these #NBAAllStar emojis. Try tweeting #LeBronJames to see what I mean!