Twitter rocked us like a hurricane with it’s announcement yesterday about their redesign and introduction of brand pages.
Taking a que from Facebook, Twitter hopes to deepen their relationships with advertisers and have partnered with 21 marketing partners such as Disney, HP, General Electric, Pepsi and Intel, among others, for the initial launch.
Those who want access to the “new and improved” Twitter for web need to first download the latest version of Twitter for iPhone or Android. I just got access today, but so far, I’m not hugely impressed.
Overall, it’s the same dance, just different shoes. Profiles have a sleeker layout, but mostly consist of the same info with reply tweets and tweets with media highlighted a bit more in your stream. Also, you can see who people are replying to right in the feed as opposed to going to a new page, making for faster stalking.
The new “interactions” Twitter quietly rolled out a bit ago allows you to see just mentions (ie @replies) or all interactions, including new followers, retweets, lists in addition to mentions. But it takes forever to load with the new design (found under “Connect), which can be frustrating.
However, one thing that caught my attention was “Discover.” Discover gives you a whole menu of “newly packaged” things, putting its features at the forefront:
- Stories is a form of content curation, displaying trending blog posts/ content and their associated tweets. I think this may be useful for those using Twitter as a news feed, though I wish users could customize the subject matter of their stories. Until then, I probably won’t use it very often.
- Other features include ”Activity,” which is much like a Facebook news feed, “Who To Follow,” “Browse categories” showing people you may be interested in depending on the topics you tweet, and “Trends” which is based on your location, but can be changed to other cities or worldwide.
Now on to brand pages.
Much like when Google+ launched their pages for brands, Twitter brand pages are limited only to the 21 select marketing partners and will be slowly rolled out to wider audiences (no reports as to when yet).
But what are some of the benefits? Like Facebook pages, Twitter brand pages will provide the ability to learn more about the brand and spur deeper engagement. They will also create more rich content experience for users and help messaging content stand out better with the ability for rotation.
How they will do this is with two main key elements: a new “page” layout with a header image that can be customized and a promoted tweet that can be selected to stay at the top of the feed.
- The large header images will display the brand’s logo and tagline more prominently than under the standard format, where branded elements of the page design are often partially covered by the time line of tweets.
- The top tweet will also auto-expand to reveal an embedded photo or video from Flickr, YouTube or other sources, without requiring the user to take action.
The page and the promoted tweet are both free with no ad spend to speak of (yet) and will be publicly accessible.
The new design is also reported to let brands separate their @replies and mentions. This is important for brands using Twitter as a channel for customer-service, meaning the brand can frequently respond to users while also keeping its messaging from getting diluted.