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Twitter timeline changes could be a help to businesses

Feb 4, 2016 / by jugglingswords / In Business, News, Social media / Tags: , , , , , / Leave a comment

Since it was announced that Twitter was planning to change its timeline to an algorithm-based platform, the internet has been in meltdown about the social network’s imminent demise.

It’s all a bit premature though… and the proposed changes, whilst won’t sit well with everybody, might just make Twitter a better marketing tool for businesses.

So, what’s this all about? Well, at the moment Twitter updates in a very simplistic chronological order with the most recent tweets at the top of your feed.

Twitter fans love it in general. It makes it an incredibly effective tool – some might even argue it’s vital – when big news stories break. It allows followers to get an up-to-the-second account of events.
We love this side of Twitter too.

But, for businesses, Twitter can be a very frustrating beast to work with. Its very nature makes engagement difficult at the best of times.

A switch to an algorithm-based format – much like Facebook’s (how very dare you, they might say) – would allow businesses to target who sees tweets much more effectively and would, of course, allow Twitter to enhance its advertising proposition further down the line.

The #RIPTwitter hashtag was flying over the weekend. Keep your hands off our Twitter, was the sentiment. Twitter has taken a pounding over the last few months and its CEO Jack Torsey tweeted that the company isn’t planning on re-ordering timelines any time soon but that it was looking at refining its live stream.

One thing that seems pretty clear at this stage is that any big changes would be opt-in, which might just be enough to appease the Twitter purists.

These are challenging times for Twitter, there’s no doubt, and the key will be for the social giant to integrate changes without alienating its vocal followers.

For businesses and marketers, the next few months will be very interesting and changes could be a boost to engagement. Of course, if Twitter pisses off its users so much that they continue to leave in droves, then any changes will become irrelevant very quickly.

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Juggling Swords is an Edinburgh-based content marketing, social media and digital marketing agency.

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