May 30th, 2014

Why We’re Okay With The New Twitter Layout

by Mel Beasley

When Twitter Developers announced the long-anticipated profile redesign, we were less than thrilled with the changes. We were right on board with the general sentiment: it looked way too much like Facebook, and on a deeper level, couldn’t help but feel that Twitter was relinquishing what made it so unique and special in the first place.

But as we toyed around with the new layout, and analyzed what these changes meant to different strategies, we noticed the changes are not only on par with social trends, but beneficial to brands. How?

It’s no surprise, really. Visual is taking over social world.
Data shows that tweets with images receive 150% more engagement than tweets without. Consider your own Twitter usage. When you’re scrolling through a brand page on mobile, tablet or desktop, what tweets are you drawn to? What catches your attention? Twitter Cards have been picking up steam recently, and brands can utilize them to create visually stimulating experiences. All while controlling the way these cards (summary cards, photo cards, gallery cards, product cards, etc.) options are displayed. All you have to do is add a couple lines of code, and you’re good to go.

Plus, the new layout (below) incorporates a larger header image and profile picture. Twitter is allowing users to further express themselves, and brands have the opportunity to continue to tell their brand story through another feature. (A change, dare I say, from Facebook.)
(TIP: Make sure you optimize your images (recommended 876×438 pixels). Header images: recommended 1500×1500, maximum file size of 5MB for header photos; recommended 400×400 pixels for your profile photo.)

Sage Island Twitter

Twitter’s placed an added weight to engagement, and we couldn’t agree more.

Quality engagement with two followers trumps passive engagement with ten. Twitter highlights tweets with the most engagement by displaying them slightly larger than the rest. And if you ask us, this simple change is a great commentary on the value brands are beginning to place on engagement and advocacy over following. Engagement shows how many people are connecting with (and being inspired by) your brand’s content.

The value of social currency continues to increase.
The main navigation previously only included tweets, following and followers. It has grown to include a call out to photos/videos and favorites. Not only does this place a stronger emphasis on your visual content, but it emphasizes the value (social currency) you place on content. We all use “favorites” differently, and perhaps this new call out will make you rethink your strategy.

Brands want more control of their content.
You’re able to “pin” your tweets to the top of the page for increased visibility. This might be a lot like Facebook, but 1) who cares if it works!, and 2) it’s still a great way to promote an upcoming initiative, promotion or blog post with a fun graphic.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 12.35.08 PM

Twitter’s been a favorite for a long time. We value the ability to build relationships with our audience and solve problems in real time. The search options are fantastic, we’re more connected than ever before, we’re building communities and the access it’s given us is—well—inescapable.

Yes, the new Twitter design may have characteristics of other networks. Yes, it may look a lot like Facebook. But when all is said and done, fluidity continues to be the best thing about social. It’s not about you—it’s about your customer, and social tools are a means, not an end. What is your audience saying about the changes, and how are they responding? Are they taking action (i.e., moving to another platform) and what are you doing to stay front and center?

Social moves too, too quickly—you don’t have time to be bummed. You continue to adapt. If you’d like some help sorting through these changes, shoot us a message!

It's more than a message in a bottle.

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