The Most Exciting Twitter Features of 2018
The year 2018 has been an interesting one for social media giant Twitter. Despite reporting a 24% net revenue increase back in July, Twitter stock nonetheless took a 20% dive as a result of its slow user growth.
Eager to further assert its role as a leading social media platform, the micro-posting site has continued to introduce updates aimed at keeping up with the demands of its users.
Let's take a look at some of the changes that have been introduced this year and take a sneak peek at what other updates might still be in the works.
Ambiguity has always swirled around the value of Twitter ‘likes’. While the assumption has always been that 'likes' denote appreciation, they also serve as a form of bookmarking. Scrolling through a feed, Twitter users interested in reading an article, link, or obscure tweet will often use the like button to store it for later perusal.
In early 2018, Twitter unveiled a bookmarking function to allow for better interpretations of popularity and success.
The process is simple; to bookmark a post, users need only tap the share icon under the tweet and select ‘Add Tweet to Bookmarks’. To find their list of bookmarks, users can tap ‘Bookmarks’, which is visible from their profile icon menu. If needed, personalised bookmarks can be removed at any time.
The update proved beneficial to Twitter users as it removed the need to scroll through their favourite tweets in search of an obscure post or a long-forgotten link.
Curated News Times
As of March 14th 2018, Twitter started experimenting with curated content. Focusing on major news events, Twitter’s curated timelines have since appeared at the top of the user’s Twitter feed. Functioning as an extension of the ‘Happening Now’ feature, it significantly expanded the platform's curated content to cover a wide variety of areas.
The update represented a conscious choice by the tech giant to ensure Twitter keeps up with the demands of an ever-changing digital landscape. Twitter Product VP Keith Coleman expanded on this, explaining:
"People come to Twitter to see and talk about what’s happening. We’re working on ways to make it easier for everyone to find relevant news and the surrounding conversation so they can stay informed about what matters to them."
Rumours of a Camera-First Feature
Locked in a constant battle of trying to gain the competitive edge, social media platforms are always trying to use and improve each other's features.
For example, earlier this year we saw the introduction ofInstagram stories, undoubtedly inspired by Snapchat, and Facebook did the same with their live video feeds. Now it's Twitter's turn. Known for being a predominantly text-based platform, Twitteris reportedly looking to stamp its territory in the visual medium with a ‘Camera-First’ feature.
The new feature will combine location-based videos and photos with Twitter moments around events such as music festivals, sporting events, political rallies, and the like.
Companies and brands will be able to sponsor or place ads between real-time images and videos. This effect is two-fold, providing Twitter with another source of income and allowing users to use Twitter for more than just a few hundred characters.
Although there have been several reports about Twitter's future camera features, it is still in the early stages of development. Details will likely remain unclear until something more concrete appears.
Threading and Presence
Murmurs of a forthcoming set of new Twitter features emerged in late August when Twitter head Jack Dorsey hinted at the potential introduction of a 'Threading' and 'Presence' feature.
Aimed at improving the structure and readability of conversations, the 'Threading' feature would represent a move away from the platform's current embedding- and click-through system, structuring conversations into more convenient threads. In turn, the proposed 'Presence' feature would make it easier to connect with other users that are currently online.
As of now, the newly-proposed features are very much in the experimental stages, meaning that an actual launch is still far from certain. Nonetheless, these latest features go a long way in demonstrating Twitter's ongoing commitment to tailoring their platform to the modern user.