Twitter Changes with the Times

Twitter Changes with the Times

Last Tuesday, Twitter announced that it would be changing its protocol to allow users more room in what they want to include in their messages. Twitter Senior Product Manager Todd Sherman revealed that names tagged during a reply to a tweet will no longer be counted as against the character limit and that Tweets that begin with a username will be delivered to all followers of that user. The old system required that a period be inserted before the username, otherwise the tweet only be seen by the followers of the writer and any other usernames tagged. Users would also be able to retweet and quote tweet themselves.

convThese changes may toe the line between the improvements that Twitter needs to make in order to rebound from a two-year stock-value descent and the defining features that Twitter must uphold to avoid pissing off its current users. John Carroll, mass communications professor at Boston University, stated that while most of the changes would likely go over well, self-retweeting might get really annoying.

“There are a lot of people who will look on retweeting yourself with dismay,” he claimed, using an SAT word to maintain an air of professionalism despite the fact that a change in Twitter’s format has been categorized as within his academic expertise.

Others claim that the changes speak to the development of a general flexibility that has been unattainable for Twitter in the past.

“Twitter held firm too long on a very stringent format,” said Andreas Scherer, managing partner at Salto Partners, whatever that is. “This announcement is a sign that the company is willing to rethink the experience users have with its service.”

Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research, made a safe wager when he guessed that the changes to Twitter will only be interesting to people obsessed with Twitter: “They don’t do anything at all drive user growth,” he told an online tech magazine whose content I generally rewrite. He added that the changes will also do nothing to affect him having a girls’ name.

chichErna Alfred Liousas, an analyst with Forrester Research, has what barely constitute’s a girl’s name and welcomes the changes: “They’re addressing things that didn’t make sense to all of us who use the platform on a regular basis…The changes will re-enforce why we’re on the platform. We’ll actually be able to have conversations without being penalized for including a person or link or photo.”

Another great platform that enables such conversation is the internet. Perhaps this is why Erna doesn’t expect the Twitter changes to attract any new users.

“The changes won’t bring new users to the platform [Twitter], but they’ll make the experience overall a lot smoother,” she posited.

In that regard, Twitter may be treading water more so than it is swimming upstream (?). The company needs to prove its ability to attract more users if it wants to compete with the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. The monthly active Twitter users worldwide rose by only 2.6 percent from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016, and like pubescent breasts, investors see the rate of growth as much more important than the occurrence of growth in the first place.


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