Everyone loves Twitter, I really do and for me the very first reason is it’s not like Facebook. I always appreciate how Hitesh mentioned 10 reasons why you should choose Twitter over Facebook. No algorithm, no manipulation, a delivery system that has not changed since the launch (eight years now). Well, that is about to change Twitter CFO Anthony Noto announced on 3rd September that an algorithmic feed is indeed one of several changes to be implemented over 2015. Does that ring a Facebook like bell?
Twitter has been a powerful tool for businesses and that’s because of many fators including real-time marketing, customer support, breaking news and many others. I am not sure whether this move will be beneficial for Brands or only for Twitter, but here are few things businesses should take care and think about.
1. Un-Real Time Conversations
Twitter’s real-time marketing is what makes this platform, such a favourite among users and brands. With the algorithm in tow, it will be going the same route as Facebook of altering its timeline and showing tweets to the users at the moment. It isn’t very clear how this change will affect Twitter third-party tools, but if they don’t get affected and will still deliver the tweets with no algorithm, I suggest it will be a good move to switch to these twitter tools for more real-time results.
2. Pay for Reach (like Facebook)
Facebook edgerank has made it very tough for branded content to show up organically on their newsfeed. Brands are in a way forced to pay to showcase their content, brands on Twitter didn’t have to worry about such a problem until now. But with the changes to ring in 2015 they will now be forced to pay for reach. This only shows media spending is going to be crucial and will continue growing so brands can expand their reach and engage with fans/followers.
3. Breaking News
Twitter has been the ultimate source when it comes to breaking news; it had in fact changed the meaning of breaking news as a lot of news channel would quote Twitter as the source. A very recent example of the unrest in Ferguson, where Twitter was buzzing with tweets about this episode which in turn then created awareness and pushed the story to the national forefront. Look at this tweet from Mark Hamilton to see how Facebook in comparison due to its edgerank controlled the result. Don’t you think users will miss out on certain bits of information with this new Twitter algorithm?
Twitter vs. Facebook: my tweetstream is almost wall-to-wall with news from Ferguson. Only two mentions of it in my Facebook news feed.
— Mark_Hamilton (@gmarkham) August 14, 2014
4. Need for a Learning curve
Twitter is such an easy platform to use, all users need to keep in mind is the 140 characters and tweet their thoughts away. Similarly for brands, they needed to strategize for how to gain followers so their posts could be exposed. With the inclusion of this algorithm brands will have to spend a good amount of time to understand the new tricks of the game, and accordingly plan on how to target their audiences and make sure the tweet shows up in their timeline.
5. Start using Twitter Search more
Researches suggest that Twitter Search is the most under-utilised tool for Twitter, not many brands use it efficiently. But since now your feed will have algorithm you won’t be getting all results! Thus if you have to find more information about certain news or topic, businesses will have to make use of Twitter search frequently to be in the loop and keep engaging!
Buzz on Twitter
With the news that Twitter is exploring in timeline altering, there is a displeasure that you can see in Twitter users, it isn’t accepted with open arms by Twitter users – Take a look below:
I try not to be an alarmist about changes with Twitter. But this could be the beginning of the end. http://t.co/TIQPImkA52 Very, very sad.
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) September 4, 2014
Are you a Twitter user who has been craving a more Facebook like experience? If so, I'd like to talk to you for a story about people I hate.
— Hayes Brown (@HayesBrown) September 4, 2014
Why Twitter Should not Algorithmically Curate the Timeline http://t.co/IgG0mC9KRQ Totally agree! Don't become Facebook, Twitter. Please.
— Karthik Srinivasan (@beastoftraal) September 5, 2014
Dear @twitter. Don't introduce a news feed algorithm like Facebook. Yours sincerely. Everyone on Twitter.
— Copyright (@UKcopyright) September 4, 2014
There is already an algorithm that manages your Twitter feed. You.
— Dave Pell (@davepell) September 4, 2014
I'm not on Twitter just so people see my tweets but b/c my network finds me stuff. Fascinating stuff. From people the algorithm will ignore.
— Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) September 4, 2014
Imagine what a Twitter-curated timeline would have looked like during Ferguson. Imagine the voices not deemed "relevant" by an algorithm.
— Heather McLendon (@hemclendon) September 4, 2014
Twitter doesn’t seem to understand why people like Twitter.
— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) September 4, 2014
Really hope @twitter reconsiders the changes it wants to make to the feed. It's why I use this 90% of the time compared to Facebook.
— Susan Lulgjuraj (@SoozOnSports) September 5, 2014
— Stefano Maggi (@stefanomaggi) September 5, 2014
CFO Anthony Noto said that these changes will be implemented gradually, and won’t be thrown on the users face suddenly one day! As Twitter hasn’t really clarified in-depth about the changes to take place till then we all can only speculate and sit & wait to hear about an official announcement of its new product. Only time will tell, if it is the end of affair between Twitter and brands? And how they will deal with the Facebook-ification of their Twitter timeline!
How do you think are these changes going to affect businesses? Do you think there will be a manipulation in trending topics too? Do share with us.