Australians love Facebook with a massive chunk of social media users (94%) on the platform, but Twitter is on the rise jumping from 19% to 32% in 2017, according to the latest Sensis Social Media Report.

Why now? Could it be the sheer entertainment of following Donald Trump as he bumbles through his presidency with each tweet topping the last in the crazy (perversely entertaining) stakes? Possibly a contributing factor…

However, a more likely reason is Twitter upping its game to keep up with the surge of users flocking to more visual social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.

Here are some of the latest Twitter features that are keeping them in the game:

  1. New look, cleaner design

In response to user feedback, Twitter rolled out a series of design changes across all its platforms in June 2017, including:

  • New side navigation menu at the bottom of the app: a clean, decluttered design with profile, settings, lists, etc. now in the one place
  • Consistent typography: makes it easier to differentiate who’s saying what with the addition of bolder headlines
  • Rounded profile photos instead of square: differentiates profiles with photos, videos etc
  • Instant updates when there’s a reply, retweet or like: gives you real-time engagement numbers within the app without needing to refresh or reload tweets
  • More intuitive icons: like swapping the Reply ‘arrow’ to a conversation bubble
  • Articles open in Safari’s viewer in the Twitter app
  1. Explore tab combines Moments, trends and search

Yes! Love this change. In January 2017, Twitter once again responded to user feedback to make it easier to find and use trends, Moments and Search under one tab: Explore.

This is a simple but effective change that essentially brings together existing features in a way that gets users engaged with new and trending content.

  1. Improved Safety features

One of the constant criticisms Twitter receives from its users is the lack of options for reporting online abuse and harassment in real-time. Sure, there are Twitter rules that clearly prohibit this behaviour but until the following measures were introduced in March 2017, Twitter users were unable to take much action against abuse or harassment they experienced:

  • Users can filter notifications and specify which accounts they don’t want to see
  • Users that opt in to Direct Messages from anyone, can approve or deny the request to connect from people they don’t already follow
  • Users can mute specific keywords and phrases forever or for a set period of time
  • Reported users will be put on time-outs while Twitter conducts an investigation
  • Repeat offenders will be more closely monitored and prevented from creating new accounts
  • Abusive tweets will be identified and hidden
  • Safer searches where users will be protected from abusive content when they search for tweets

This is a major step forward and you can watch for ongoing updates from @TwitterSafety

So 2017 moving forward with a bang for Twitter. Just about every other month, they seem to be launching a new feature or improved service to users. These changes are being driven by user feedback which will hopefully help them retain and attract users going forward.

Wondering how Twitter might work for your business? You’re on Facebook but never really thought Twitter would work for your digital marketing? Give us a call.

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