With social platforms reaching omniscient levels in today’s highly connected landscape it is only natural that as they progress they become more and more business-centric. Social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, both publicly traded entities, are seeking new ways to increase their worth for businesses as they seek the ever desirable increasing stock price.Of course the changes are also appealing to individual users but businesses are clearly, whether stated or not, the main focus of these modifications. It is in this changing landscape that users, whether they are individuals or businesses, need to keep up with the evolving platforms if they are to stay relevant and influential.

It is in this changing landscape that users, whether they are individuals or businesses, need to keep up with the evolving platforms if they are to stay relevant and influential.

Amongst these platforms to unfold various changes in order to appeal to the demanding market is the recently public Twitter. While many were skeptical with the initial IPO of Twitter due to its uncertain revenue streams the company closed their first day of trades at an impressive $44.90 a share from the IPO price of $26. While the company was able to burst out of the gates at full speed, they have begun to plateau as many question the added value they actually bring businesses. In order to counteract this and become more appealing, at least in Twitter’s eyes, to their variety of multi-purpose users, they have recently unveiled some changes to their platform that are worth noting and need to be understood in order to thrive in the ever-crowded media-sphere.

Below are easy to understand descriptions of these changes and how they can be best integrated into your own social media accounts and what implications these changes will have looking into the future. Starbucks is used as the example because they pretty much have the whole social media thing down to an art.

1) New Header:

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Probably the most noticeable change, at least visually, is the addition of a page-spanning header. Many, like myself, will probably be quick to note the similarities to Facebook’s “cover photo” and that is an accurate comparison. The optimal size for this header is 1500 px x 500 px and the maximum file size is 5MB. Headers are visible when perusing your followers or when on a user’s main profile.

Implications: This essentially means that any profile can make a bigger statement and reflect their personality more clearly and effectively. It serves as a focal point for profiles and allows users to quickly give information, something that businesses will certainly be capitalizing on.

2) Pinned Tweets

Pinned

Once reserved for businesses and brands through the “Twitter ads” interface, the pinned tweet is now accessible to any profile at anytime. Essentially you click the 3 horizontal dots seen on a tweet and select “pin to profile page”. This tweet is now permanently placed at the top of your profile, making it highly visible to those who review your profile. It is important to note that you can only “pin” one tweet at a time.

Implications: Essentially, this can be used to express any information one deems important, as it will be the most prominent tweet on your profile. This is useful when running specific campaigns, spreading information or simply sharing your opinion.

3) Filtered Tweets

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Previously this feature was also only available to brand pages, now anyone that has updated to the new format can filter pages in order to quickly glance at specific information. Pages can be filtered by one of the following: tweets only, tweets and replies, and tweets with photos or videos. Furthermore the way tweets with photos and videos are displayed has changed, with these tweets being expanded and easier to see.

Implications: This update is not the most exciting but does allow for users to quickly sift through different types of information and view images in a clearer more aesthetically pleasing format. This does mean that when posting images individuals and businesses need to ensure they are uploading quality photos and videos for the best results.

4) Pop – Up Notifications for Web

This is probably the most annoying of the updates, unless you love to get notifications for everything that is going on, which some people do, no judgment. Whenever someone follows, mentions, “retweets”, favourites, or sends you a direct message you will receive a notification on the bottom right of your screen. Luckily you can customize what you receive under the “Web Notifications” tab.

Implications: You can know everything that is happening, all the time.

5) Best Tweets

Best

Your profile will now make certain tweets larger than others in comparison. You will also see this when looking through other profiles. This is based on which tweets receive the most engagement, in the form of favourites and “retweets”, and those with accompanying media such as videos or images.

Implications: This essentially allows your most interesting tweets, as deemed by others, to stand out. It also enables tweets with media to be more prominent which must be taken under consideration when posting these types of tweets.

So what does this all mean? Well other than having to get used to interface alterations the changes prove to be pretty useful, kudos to Twitter. Overall the platform is definitely more visually appealing and it will be up to its users to capitalize on these changes to stand out and make a statement. Only time will tell if these changes actually aid the company from a business standpoint. One thing is clear, Facebook’s influence is undeniable and there is certainly a shift to social networks that are visually appealing

This certainly won’t be the end to changes from the various social media platforms that have permeated our society. Stay tuned for any further social media changes and ways to effectively integrate these changes into your various accounts.

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