If you’ve visited Twitter in the last few days you may have noticed the new feature with pictures appearing in your newsfeed. You no longer have to click when opening media in your tweets, as the social network has now opened its links to video and photos.
According to the company’s Vice President for Product, Michael Sippey, the company is opting for a more visual and engaging experience for users by including multimedia from Vine inside their tweets. A swift tap on a picture of interest will play the video or display more of the photo.
With photos and videos appearing automatically, tweets with these extras are more likely to be looked at than those without. As a natural tendency our eyes are drawn to the more bright and colourful elements, than they are to plain text.
The timing of this modification came only a few days out from the big IPO (Initial Public Offering) with 70 million twitter shares making their eagerly anticipated debut, and is surely not a matter of chance. It is a major event and the second biggest tech IPO, following Facebook’s $16 billion offering last year, and way ahead of the Google 2004 $1.92 billion offer.
Not only is twitter attempting to entice investors with its new feature, but it is also showing it is prepared to put more focus on the sharing of multimedia, not just characters and links. This is good news for you and your friends for sharing your pet pics and selfies, and likewise for the big brands that you may follow as they can tweet their ads out for distribution around your newsfeed. It will not matter if you don’t happen to follow any brand names, as twitter has its sponsored posts.
Wait a minute. Isn’t this getting a bit close to Facebook‘s all-powerful territory? Well, maybe so, but the one thing that keeps twitter being Twitter, is those 140 characters and perhaps the inability to sort photos into albums. Twitter may be evolving into a lean adaptation of Facebook, but as Facebook continually chops and changes; it may be rather a good thing.
Latest: Twitter shares up by 76 per cent after first day of trading.