To give the company credit, they’re not just sitting around and watching their numbers drop. On the contrary, they’ve taken many recent steps to boost engagement rates and improve user experience. Is it working? It may be too soon to tell.
But the updates are a-plenty, and we’ve got the important ones for you here. We thought we’d share them Twitter-style: 140 characters, short and tweet.
1. Twitter is retaining its 140-character limit, but links and photos will no longer be included in the character count.
2. Soon all Twitter users will be able to broadcast live with Periscope right from their Twitter account.
3. Two new appointments to their board of directors are moving Twitter toward reaching their 2016 diversity goals.
4. And, their new algorithmic timeline hasn’t changed the platform that much, after all. Many users haven’t even noticed the change.
If you’re not in it for the Skimm version, we’ve got the more-than-140-character descriptions, too:
1. The long-rumored update to Twitter’s 140-character limit for tweets has finally been revealed. Instead of the widely-believed character limit expansion to 10,000 characters that was being reported several months ago, Twitter will simply stop counting links and photos against its (still) 140-character limit. (Did you know? Twitter initially set the limit at 140 characters due to the common practice of sending tweets via text message before the mass adoption of smartphones.)
2. Last year, Twitter acquired live broadcasting platform Periscope. Now, they’ve started rolling out a “Go Live” button in which users can broadcast live from their Twitter account at the touch of a button. “Over time, all users will have the ability to start a Periscope broadcast from Twitter,” Twitter said in a statement this week.
3. Twitter’s 2016 diversity goals include increasing women overall to 35 percent and increasing underrepresented minorities overall to 11 percent. On Monday, the company announced that it had added the chief executive of Black Entertainment Television, Debra Lee, to its board of directors, and that board member Marjorie Scardino had been appointed Twitter’s lead independent director.
4. If you’re a Twitter user, you may have been up in arms about the announcement of their new algorithmic formula earlier this year (and you wouldn’t have been alone). In general, however, the launch has not been as dramatic as many feared. Users that log into Twitter often will see what is primarily the reverse chronological feed that they’re used to. The feeds of users who spend a lot of time away will be more impacted by the algorithm, as Twitter tries to fill in the gaps by showing what it calculates as the most relevant of the tweets that were missed during the gap in activity. And yes, opting out is still possible.
The elephant in the room is the big question: should brands continue to use Twitter? While the answer to this question is of course different for every brand, we believe that – on the whole – the answer is “yes.” Although they have been experiencing a bit of a user exodus as of late, statistics currently show that there are an estimated 1.3 billion registered Twitter users, and that approximately 100 million of those are active on a daily basis. What’s more, 34% of those daily active accounts log in more than once per day, showing that a majority of Twitter users are loyal to the platform even in spite of all these changes.
In an even more illuminating statistic, half of all monthly Twitter users follow the accounts of brands and companies, compared to an average of just 16% of users across all social network platforms. This means that Twitter users are three times more likely to use the platform to research and engage with products and services. When paired with the fact that over half of all Twitter users earn more than $50k annually, you can see the incredible opportunity available to marketers who are able to leverage this audience effectively.