In social media news this week, Facebook’s Messenger plans ahead for 2016 and its all about Twitter with the announcement of conversational ads, the Twitter feed still confusing users, and continued speculation over character count.
With the announcement at the end of 2015 that Messenger now had 800 million using it every month, Messenger have followed it up with a review of 2015 showing a glimpse of their plans for the future. In what they term as being “still the early days of Messenger” David Marcus, VP of Messaging Products shared the themes for Messenger in 2016. Not surprisingly, it looks like Facebook are trying to build Messenger into a more powerful tool including the way that users can interact with businesses and services and with M, their own digital virtual assistant. Messenger have promised more developments for the coming year.
Twitter Conversational Ads
Twitter have announced conversational ads which are being beta tested with selected partners. This type of advert will allow brands to take promoted tweets a step further by including call to action buttons and customisable hashtags to encourage and increase engagement. Tapping the call to action opens a pre-populated brand message which the user can personalize and share and the user receives a thank you message from the brand for engaging with the Tweet. Most importantly, the Tweet appears in a users timeline with the original photo or video, making it more shareable to increase the organic reach. There is no general roll out date announced but conversational ads could be an interesting addition to the Twitter advertising options.
Since the start of December, some Twitter users have been noticing some changes to their feed. Instead of the usual strictly chronological order, users reported that their feed was appearing out of order. Twitter didn’t make an official announcement but a spokesman confirmed in a statement emailed to Slate that “this is an experiment”. The users who saw the change couldn’t see any reasoning behind the order of the tweets and it also didn’t appear consistent with it more likely to appear if someone logged in for the first time in several hours. Many users who saw the change were far from happy about it. One of the things that makes Twitter Twitter is the chronological timeline and some suggested it was an unwelcome move by new CEO Jack Dorsey to make it more like Facebook.
Twitter Character Count
Speculation has increased this week that Twitter will be increasing their character count. Fuelled by Jack Dorsey’s tweet earlier this week some are predicting that Twitter will increase the count as high as 10,000 characters. Referring to an increase in the number of people taking screenshots of text and tweeting it as an image, Jack Dorsey hinted at wanting to increase the characters so that the text could be searched, highlighted and ultimately be made more powerful. Twitter conversation thrives on brevity, speed and the ability to scan Tweets to digest information quickly so the suggestion of an increase has left some users very unhappy.
Jack Dorsey has promised changes and innovation in an attempt to revive Twitter. Neither the change to the feed or the prospect of more characters have been particularly well received by the loyal Twitter users but if they want to grow, Twitter will have to find a compromise to keep its existing users happy whilst also attracting new.