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Category Archives: Twitter

Tag Archives: Twitter


Twitter’s 140 Characters Are About to Get More Breathing Room

After years of carefully stuffing tweets full of information – being careful not to extend them beyond 140 characters – this week Twitter has announced changes that will give users more breathing room. This is great news for social media marketers, brands and everyday users alike.

Twitter’s updates (which are rolling out in the coming months) technically break the current 140 character limit rule. Here’s a rundown of the big changes coming to Twitter very soon:

  • @Replies: Among the biggest changes is the fact that when replying to a tweet, @names will no longer count toward to the 140-character count, according to Twitter. This is huge news and will make Twitter discussions, chats and interviews more seamless.
  • . @ is history: One of the most vexing issues for Twitter users – especially inexperienced tweeters – was that if a tweet was started with @name… only the people who followed you AND that person would see the tweet. Twitter has now done away with that quirky convention, allowing for tweets that begin with a username to be seen by all of your followers.
  • Retweets: Among the new changes, retweets are getting a huge makeover. Twitter plans to enable the retweet button on tweets that you have sent. So if you’ve ever felt as if the the Twittersphere missed your brilliant, concise comment the first time around, now you can simply retweet your own tweet.
  • Media attachments: Another key development, media attachments including photos, GIFs, videos, polls or event Quote tweets, will not be counted as characters within the tweet.

All these changes mean that tweets will look a bit longer, because, technically, they will be. Twitter’s announcement this week comes on the heels of reports of discussions at Twitter around potentially dramatically increasing the length of tweets – up to 10,000 characters. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is said to be a fan of making tweets longer. Indeed, this week’s changes are part of Twitter’s ongoing plans to improve the user experience and add new users.

Happy tweeting.

Read more from Lisa van der Pool

Four Ways Michelle Obama Rules Social Media: And How You Can, Too

15 million Facebook likes. 4.3 million Instagram followers. 4.17 Twitter followers. 470,000 Vine followers. Since she took her place in the White House in 2009, our First Lady, Michelle Obama, has had quite the powerful social media presence, to say the least. Through her thousands of posts, tweets and status updates, the FLOTUS has been crafting messages that appeal to a variety of audiences. Want to become a social media maven like our First Lady? Here are a few tips to keep in mind when managing your social media platforms:

Be authentic: Even though she is always in the spotlight, the FLOTUS keeps her messages realistic so her followers can easily relate. In honor of her “Let’s Move!” campaign to end childhood obesity, Jimmy Fallon and the First Lady filmed the Evolution Of Mom Dancing, which went viral almost immediately after being uploaded to YouTube. This fun, genuine performance allowed viewers to see a silly side of Mrs. Obama (“mom” dancing on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon seems pretty laid back to me) that the public wouldn’t normally expect from a First Lady. Keeping your posts, tweets and photos authentic will help build better relationships with your (or a brand’s) followers, both on and offline. Give your audiences something real and relatable to hold on to and they’ll keep coming back.

Keep your content timely: Back in the fall of 2014, while everyone was singing along to DJ Snake/Lil Jon’s chart topping “Turn Down For What”, the FLOTUS grabbed hold of the musical phenomenon and created the “Turnip for What” vine. This seven second video once again turned the media’s attention to her “Let’s Move!” campaign to raise awareness about healthy eating. The First Lady acknowledged the popularity of the hit rap song and developed her Vine while the song was still relevant. It may sound obvious, but keeping current trends and timely topics in mind when drafting social media posts is essential. Grab hold of something big happening in the news that may be relevant to your brand – even just a trending hashtag – and tie it back to your own story.

Stay accessible: In a recent interview with The Verge, Michelle Obama stated: “We know we have to meet young people where they are — they’re not watching the nightly news, they’re not watching the Sunday morning shows, and they’re not reading the newspapers. They’re on their phones.” The FLOTUS pays attention to what interests her audience, where she can access them and where they can access her. Be aware of this shift to digital communication while crafting your social posts. Making your message as accessible as possible to all audiences will help build a following and better brand awareness.

Be powerful: One of the more influential social media movements the First Lady started was the Let Girls Learn campaign to help the 62 million girls around the world who are not in school – many of whom are adolescent – go to school and stay in school. With the help of The President, Michelle Obama brought this powerful campaign into the spotlight and used the hashtag, #62MillionGirls, to keep the movement trending. As the FLOTUS did, make sure your message stands out to get noticed. Stay provocative and creative with your content to capture attention and push out a great story.

So there you have it – follow these tips and you may just wind up being a social media guru like Michelle Obama!

Read more from Skye McIvor

Happy Birthday to Twitter! A Decade in Review…

On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey wrote the first-ever tweet. Ten years later, the social platform has around 320 million monthly users. Today, Twitter is an amazing tool for breaking news, content sharing, following friends, and even your favorite celebrities and the hashtag – previously known as the “pound” sign – is now simply part of the way many of us communicate. Over the past decade, Twitter has proven to be an invaluable platform for marketers and brands, a means of connecting with audiences, a new form of promotion and an essential element of customer service. Today, to celebrate Twitter’s 10th birthday, I wanted to step back in time and review ten powerful campaigns and hashtags that showcase the power of reach of the platform. (Thanks to InkHouse client, Brandwatch, for the social data below.)

1 – #YesWeCan Obama Election Campaign 2008
After eight years, and nearing a November 2016 election, #YesWeCan is still a widely recognizable hashtag that was used in President Obama’s 2008 election campaign. Interestingly, while the hashtag is very well known, Brandwatch found that less than 3,000 people actually used it in the few months prior to the election. This is pretty indicative of the fact that Twitter was still just a baby back in ’08. Nonetheless – it was the beginning of something big.

2 – #BeatCancer 2010 by Livestrong
This hashtag, which was backed by tremendous celebrity power on Twitter (@KimKardashian, @ArianaGrande), actually beat the Guinness Book of World Records in ’09 for its most widespread social network mentions — it reached 459k during the 2010 campaign.

3 – #WantAnR8 by Audi 2011
Back in 2011, a woman tweeted at Audi that she wanted Audi’s R8 V10 model after watching the Super Bowl ad for it. She used the hashtag #WantAnR8. As a result, the company actually delivered an R8 V10 to this women for a day and developed an entire Twitter campaign contest around the hashtag. The idea was to tweet the hashtag #WantAnR8 for a chance to win access to the car for a day. Brandwatch found that 483,175,059 impressions were created with 27,000 total mentions of the hashtag. Pretty impressive.

4 – #40Dollars by The White House 2011-2012
The White House launched this Twitter campaign in reference to its fight over extending payroll tax cuts. The $40.00 represents the amount every American would save if the payroll tax cut was extended. People used the hashtag in answer to the question: “What does #40Dollars mean to you?” Brandwatch found that 62,000 Americans responded with this hashtag on Twitter.

5 – #ShareACoke by Coca-Cola 2013
This campaign was started by Coca-Cola to encourage consumers to share a Coke with others and share Coca-Cola stories. Each bottle was labeled with a different name and the hashtag #ShareACoke. To date, the campaign has proven to spike sales. Brandwatch found that for the first summer of the campaign, it received 160,000 mentions on Twitter and made 740,484,018 impressions.

6 – @TweetACoffee: Starbucks 2013
Starbucks came up with a campaign in 2013 that let people give a $5.00 gift cards to friends if they included “@tweetacoffee” and the friend’s handle in a tweet. Brandwatch found that 936,526,852 impressions were created for the initial campaign – with a gender spilt of 54 percent female and 46 percent men.

7 – #nomakeupselfie by Cancer Research UK 2014
#nomakeupselfie raised more than £8m in just six days (that’s over $11 million USD). Brandwatch data shows the biggest spike in mentions occurred on March 20 at 5:00 pm. The total number of #nomakeupselfie mentions was 160,000 with 814,128,154 impressions.

8 – #ALSIceBucketChallenge: ALS Association 2014
We all are familiar with this one, and many of us have probably thrown a bucket of ice over our heads and challenged others to do so as well. The campaign really blew up by 2014 and had a number of celebrity backers on Twitter. Brandwatch found that there were 9,578,772 mentions during the 2014 campaign.

9 – #LikeAGirl by Always (P&G) 2014

Always launched a campaign that was intended to spark a conversation around women’s hygiene products. The hashtag got 169k mentions and 97 percent of them were positive in sentiment.

10 – #ThisGirlCan by Sport England 2015
With 180,000 mentions, and carried out in Q1 of 2015, this campaign was an effort by Sport England to get women moving no matter their abilities or body type. The top associated hashtags for this campaign were: #fitness #liveyourambition #womeninsport. Brandwatch also found that the second largest spike in hashtag use occurred on International Women’s Day.

There’s no doubt that Twitter has changed our lives. It’s clear that Twitter also provides opportunity to affect positive change – even if it’s as simple as getting your friend a $5.00 gift card at Starbucks – providing brands and marketers a powerful platform for creativity and connection.

So happy 10th birthday Twitter and welcome to your second decade!

Read more from Kit Rodophele

A Peek at Twitter’s Periscope Integration

If you check Twitter on your iPhone (like most people) you may have noticed something new on your screen. We haven’t gotten to 10,000-character tweets yet, but if a picture is worth a thousand words, the rollout of Periscope videos playing in the Twitter stream of iOS users has to be worth at least a couple smiley emojis.

Before storyboarding new campaigns based off live streaming video, let’s take a quick look at the brief history of Periscope. Twitter acquired the company that built it last January as mobile video innovations from the likes of Facebook and Snapchat began to take off. An iPhone app was released in March, enabling users to post or tune in to live streaming video through links in tweets. The app was released shortly after Meerkat took the world by storm with a particularly similar value proposition. An Android app was released in May and the service had registered more than 10 million users by August. Meerkat has since faded into obscurity (RIP).

Just last week, #DrummondPuddleWatch was the first international social media sensation of 2016, and it happened on Periscope. Upwards of 20,000 people tuned in to watch the courageous, ingenious attempts of pedestrians to cross a rather large puddle on a rainy day in England. No, puddles are not uncommon (especially in England). But a team of marketers with an office overlooking a particular puddle was amused by it. An iPhone was propped up and provided thousands of users with hours of unexpected entertainment. It wasn’t a planned campaign or publicity stunt, but this hints at the potential of Periscope.

This week we saw the integration of Periscope videos into the Twitter stream. Much like on Facebook, videos will start playing as soon as you see them. You can interact with these videos just like a regular tweet — show your approval by favoriting it or retweet to share with your followers. Tapping the “Open Periscope to Chat” button on top of the video opens the Periscope app (if you have it) and enables the native “heart” and chat functions. The best part of it all, however, is that if you’re on your iPhone you don’t need a Periscope account to interact with this content anymore. Before, Periscope streams appeared as links you could open in the app, which meant you needed to use the app to access them. Now anyone scrolling through Twitter on their iPhone will just see Periscope streams as they’re posted or shared. The same functionality will likely (hopefully) be available to Android and desktop users soon too. (I’m the only Android user at InkHouse San Francisco and the #FOMO is real.)

How will Twitter’s Periscope integration affect PR and content marketing? In the long-term, that’s yet to be determined. This is just the beginning of collaboration between the two tech teams, according to Fast Company. But it’s clear that Twitter is on a path of evolution and the addition of live video to the stream opens up exciting new opportunities for storytelling and content distribution. You now have instant access to a captive audience for quick announcements, walk-throughs and Q&As. Creative, engaging content will be critical to successful campaigns this year and video is a powerful medium.

So, are you ready to go live in 5…4..3..?

Read more from John Riggin

Should Brands Adopt Facebook Live?

Throughout 2015, brands have been jumping on the live-streaming bandwagon – adopting these new apps to give their followers a live look at events, show them how to use a product, or launch a real-time Q&A with a celebrity or spokesperson. My fellow InkHousers have already shared the basics of the top live streaming apps Periscope (which was just named Apple’s App of the Year) and Meerkat, but this month a new player joined the race – one that will undoubtedly place fear in their competitors.

This week Facebook Live, Facebook’s live-streaming platform, started rolling out to all users after being in beta mode with high-profile brands and personalities. It goes without saying that Facebook inherently has a leg up in the live-streaming world – the original social network has 1 billion active users every day, whereas Periscope and Meerkat are still building their user bases, with 10 million and 2 million, respectively. Periscope and Meerkat are still very much the new kids on the social media block and lack brand awareness compared to other visual social networks like Instagram, Snapchat and Vine.

Aside from its massive user base and prominence in the social media landscape, Facebook also provides analytics and advertising capabilities that are still not available on the competing live-streaming services. Meerkat and Periscope users can see how many people join a live stream and engage with them directly, but beyond that, interaction is fairly limited. Facebook’s robust engagement tracking and targeting could make their entry in this space a game changer.

So, does that mean if you’re using Periscope or Meerkat you should jump ship to Facebook? Before you do that, here are some things to consider:

  • Your Facebook followers are probably a lot different than your Meerkat fans. Periscope and Meerkat are definitely built for a younger, hipper generation, who we know are using Facebook less and less. Tune into what your Facebook fans engage with the most (do a deep dive into your Facebook analytics), and tailor your live-streaming efforts to align with their interests.
  • The Twitter-Periscope connection. When Meerkat first launched, it had access to Twitter’s social graph, but soon after Periscope launched, that was revoked. It’s safe to assume that Twitter won’t want to play nice with Facebook Live either, so Periscope will still have the leg up in its connection to your Twitter follower base.
  • Has it moved the needle in your social efforts? If you’ve been using Periscope and Meerkat and have been making new and meaningful connections, and feel a difference in the engagement you’re getting, there’s no reason to leave it for something shiny and new so quickly. It’s wise to wait a beat and see what could happen with Facebook Live, before cutting the cord on your current live-streaming platform.

I’ve already seen some brands on my Facebook feed testing out Live, and in the coming months it will be interesting to see the effect it has on its competitors.

Read more from Stephanie Olesen
3D white people. Latest news concept. Paperboy

Distributed Content: The Evolution of the Paper Route

As a PR person, it’s really important to keep up with the news of the day. In fact, being in the know is equally as important as all other facets of the role, almost on an as-it-happens basis. The truth is, with the frenetic pace of the day, keeping current with speed of breaking news while also being productive is a constant juggling act. As a news junkie, I was thrilled when news outlets took to Facebook and Twitter and began posting links to stories in the places I visit a few times a day anyhow.

This is the new era of news consumption. Gone are the days of the paper boy delivering the news to our door in the wee hours of the morning; instead, mobile has changed the way we consume news, a cycle that is 24/7 – no breaks. There is no such thing as the morning news or the evening news – news follows us via different mediums all day and all night. Twitter and Facebook have led the charge in recent years – according to recent Pew Research, news hounds are getting their fix on either Twitter or Facebook (63 percent respectively) up significantly from 2013 (52 percent/Twitter; 47 percent/Facebook).

Recently news consumption has evolved so it’s delivered to where readers already are, versus having readers come to get the news. It’s a huge shift known as “distributed content” that PR people need to understand.

How are social platforms adapting?

Everyone is getting in on the game, figuring out how best to entice publishers and content producers to get their news “into the stream” and in front of the huge mobile audiences. It all started with Facebook Instant Articles. Then came Apple News, an aggregation of the day’s top stories designed to bring news stories to you; eliminating the need to have to go to a blog or the New York Times or BuzzFeed to get your news. Twitter has taken it to a new level with its launch of Moments, a new feature that allows users to flip through trending news, all nicely edited and aggregated by humans who provide users with a simple way to engage with current events. It’s quick and dirty, not in-depth, and is great for steering readers toward the news they’d like to explore further. Similarly, Facebook’s “Trending” feature gives users a look at what’s happening now – serving up full-length news stories from major sources (think WSJ, NYT, etc.). The best part about Trending is that it’s smart – showing news relative to popularity, geography, and interest. Then came Google AMP, designed to dramatically improve the performance of the mobile Web to deliver rich content instantly regardless of device.

For Millennials who think Facebook and Twitter are for their parents (I beg to differ…), super popular Snapchat has been in on this action for some time now, too. Snapchat’s Discover offers Stories, just like our personal Snaps – but sponsored by major news outlets and delivered in brief editorial packages. Short and sweet. Just like our attention spans.

As the “on-demand” generation, this is about as on-demand as it gets.

Publishers get on board

The major shift taking place is that many major media outlets are no longer publishing exclusively to their own properties (which is crazy if you think about it). The Washington Post, Business Insider and The Huffington Post all publish to Facebook Instant Articles. CNN, Vox Media, TIME and Wired were among the first wave of publishers on Apple News, while U.S. News, New York Times and Buzzfeed got on board with Google AMP.

The proverbial paperboy is still delivering to your doorstep – only the doorstep is your computer or mobile device or tablet. And even then, the news is following you, not the other way around. Clearly this means media outlets have had to adapt the way they publish (and monetize) news if they want to remain competitive and relevant.

So what does this mean for PR? Smart PR people understand that securing media coverage with publications who are distributing their content into this new stream is the way to get vast amounts of more eyeballs on their stories. In parallel, there are also clever ways to feed our owned content into the stream via Apple News and LinkedIn Pulse.

Is this the end of conventional media output as we know it? Not quite. Publishers still have to maintain their sites both for readers and advertisers, but the pressure to dive into the evolved media stream is on, and publishers who stay on dry land will definitely be left behind.

And yes, you’ll be able to see this blog post in your LinkedIn feed.

Read more from Jill Rosenthal

‘Moments’ Aim to Turn Twitter into Storytelling News Discovery Platform

Moments 1

The Twitter project known as “Project Lightning” has finally been revealed and is already rolling out in the U.S. on mobile and desktop before going global. Just 24 hours after Jack Dorsey was named the permanent CEO – after serving as interim chief executive for four months – Twitter announced “Moments.” And it’s big. This new curation feature is described by Twitter as, “The best of what’s happening on Twitter in an instant.”

The new lightning bolt icon on mobile and desktop opens Moments where people can browse different categories of popular content on Twitter including: “Today,” “News,” “Sports,” “Entertainment” and “Fun” – all of which have different Moments consisting of a title and description. Unlike Twitter’s standard feed, which is most often read in reverse chronological order, Moments have a beginning, middle and end. They are made up of tweets often containing multimedia such as videos, photos, GIFs and Vines, where users simply have to swipe to go through the full Moment. In fact, it feels similar to Snapchat Stories, but you can share the Moment with your followers. Plus, when an event or story ends, so does that Moment.

It’s interesting to note that the majority of moments are created by Twitter’s curation and editing team – but that these curators are not reporters. They do not create original content; instead, they organize and present compelling and popular content that already exists on Twitter. Twitter also has contributing publishing partners on Moments including: Bleacher Report, Buzzfeed, Entertainment Weekly, Fox News, Getty Images, Mashable, MLB, NASA, New York Times, Vogue and the Washington Post with plans to expand to more soon.

So what does this mean for public relations and news? Twitter, like Facebook and Snapchat and other social media channels, are vying to become a news discovery platform, telling and sharing stories, news and events in a compelling way. In this way, Twitter is becoming more than just a sharing, social platform. There’s now an incentive for people and brands to tweet more about top news stories and events with a goal of hopefully appearing in a Moments feed, and reach a whole new audience. But a few of the top questions that came out of this announcement are: will Moments actually drive new users to Twitter and how will Twitter measure success of Moments? Only time will tell.

Read more from Danielle Laurion

Publishing Changing “In An Instant” – Google and Twitter Team Up to Offer Their Own Instant Articles


It seems as though no landscape (with the exception of perhaps the Tien Shan glaciers which are melting at an alarming rate) is changing faster than the media. The latest shift, being pushed out across some of the biggest platforms, is “instant articles.”

Facebook took the first leap back in May, introducing “Instant Articles” as a new way for publishers to push out content quickly and help eliminate the load time (a brutal eight seconds, how impatient are we?) when sharing articles with friends. The move was criticized by some as a way to keep content, and subsequently power, within Facebook’s site and grasp. However, the opportunity to reach a growing number of interested, albeit impatient, readers was enough for publications such as The New York Times and The Atlantic to get on board.

Now Google and Twitter are getting in on the instant game, announcing that they too will be allowing publishers to show “instant articles” to readers who are using their services while on mobile devices. One of the key differences here, however, is that neither Google nor Twitter will be hosting the articles. Unlike Facebook’s approach, the “instant article” that pops up is a “snapshot” of the article hosted on the original publisher’s site. This is of particular importance to those publishers who were not crazy about Facebook being the host to their content, but still want to reach us eager readers who, apparently, possess the attention span of a fruit fly.

But are instant articles the be all and end all of news publishing right now? Nope. Another major media move to watch is by tech’s most glorious fruit, Apple, (a title easily usurped from beans) as they roll out the Apple News App this week. This new app, available with iOS 9, will allow users to read, share and save articles, as well as curate their feeds to include only the news outlets they value.

So what does it all mean? Expect more content, quicker. Speed has long been a key factor in the news industry, and that desire to be the first to publish is certainly extending to how quickly we want to share and consume news. I, for one, welcome our new instant article overlords, even though the eight second delay never really bothered me. Patience is a virtue and I lived through dial-up modems, emerging on the other side a more patient person because of it.

Read more from Lisa Mokaba
Jessi writes about the business of technology at Wired.

Jessi Hempel of Wired on Covering the Business of Technology

Less than a year ago – after a seven-year stint at Fortune Magazine – Jessi Hempel joined Wired as a senior writer covering the business of technology. I first met Jessi when we were fellow journalists, she at BusinessWeek and I at the Boston Business Journal and I’ve known her for more than a decade at this point. She recently agreed to answer a few questions about covering technology and what it’s like to be a journalist today.

Q. You cover the business of technology – that’s a huge beat. What types of stories do you focus on?
A. The business beat sounds broad … but it’s actually more focused. I basically have two responsibilities – the first is that I write longer form business features. The second is that I write regularly for once a week or so. Those stories are either analysis of breaking news or exclusives about companies our readers recognize. On we cover consumer and enterprise facing companies but we always lean toward consumer-facing companies.

I like two types of stories for breaking news and I like analysis. Wired doesn’t cover funding round stories and we will rarely break news about an executive joining a company. Everyone from the New York Times to Re/code covers funding announcements and we don’t think it adds a lot. The types of exclusive stories we like to do are behind the scenes looks on a launch or product news. Not every company I write about is Facebook or Google. I’m very interested in startups, but the startups I’m interested in are ones that have something significant that makes them stand out. I spent a good deal of time – several hours of reporting – with a company called Hello in the spring. At the helm was a young man who was making a sleep monitor. The significance for me was the story behind the device … the young fellow was a great character. He was 22 years old and he had investors with very big names.

Q. What are the challenges of being a journalist today?
The biggest challenge is standing out – we have so much ‘me too’ journalism and most reporters have so little time for actual reporting that you get aggregated content. I think that’s that biggest challenge for journalists: finding a way to do original reporting.

Q. How many pitches do you get a day?
I get maybe 50 from people that I don’t know at all and then maybe five from people with whom I have a relationship. I probably write from three PR pitches in a year.

Q. How important are page views and does it affect which stories you cover?
The web is a volume business – it succeeds when we get traffic. Wired is extremely focused on the credibility of the story and discourages writers from looking at page views. We look at the value of the story. That doesn’t mean we don’t have a crack team of editors who are optimizing for traffic – we do. We would not be competitive if we didn’t. But, when I’m thinking about doing a story, I don’t think ‘will this get traffic?’ And I think that makes Wired different.

Q. How do you find stories? Do you ever use social media?
It’s a lot of having been in this business for 15 years and knowing a lot of people. And having people who I know and trust to say, “look at this, pay attention to this, and we want to give you the early look.” And for Wired we like to be on the news, so our team of business reporters in particular at our security desk, wake up every morning and see where we can break news and bring exclusives.

Q. How does print reporting differ from writing for
A. With the magazine, we do almost exclusively consumer-facing technology companies. Wired gives me the luxury of being able to take a long time to report and write stories. Wired is very committed to long form business stories and editors really like features that have strong narratives and strong characters. We have a pitch meeting every few weeks. At the meeting we as a team of mostly editors and staff writers will look at and consider about a dozen or so ideas. You have to find a writer or editor who falls in love with the story. Wired is the longest lead time magazine I’ve ever worked on. Right now we’re assigning stories for the November issue.

Q. What’s one of your favorite stories from the past year?
A. Here’s an example of a story I liked a lot that ran online: Instagram is Getting So Good at News, It Should Scare Twitter.

Read more from Lisa van der Pool

Twitter is making it easier than ever to find tweets

Twitter announced earlier this year that they are partnering with Google to bring Twitter content to Google’s search results. Now, users in the United States (using English) are able to see tweets in their search results in the Google app or on mobile Web with a desktop version coming soon.

Google and Twitter made the deal in February as a way for Google to have access to the nearly half-billion tweets daily and for Twitter to gain exposure and hopefully drive more traffic, and users, to the service.

Here is how it works. If you are interested in what is going on with a certain topic such as the series finale of Mad Men, a quick search on Google will pull up the most recent tweets. Or, similarly, you can search on a hashtag and that will bring up relevant news and Tweets about that topic. Examples of searches for Taylor Swift and #MadMen are pictured below. If you tap on a tweet, you will be taken directly to Twitter to view the content.

So, what does this mean for brands? Hopefully, more of an authentic way to connect with followers. So far, tweets are coming up fairly high in the search results, allowing brands to further showcase unpaid content to the audiences looking for them. One important thing to remember now that Twitter content will be more searchable, it will be more crucial than ever to engage with both position and negative interactions with users.

Read more from Alison Morra
Twitter Homepage

Why Twitter Changed its Homepage and What it Means for Brands

Believe it or not, 42% of B2B brands either have no account or are inactive on Twitter. Shocking, right? Especially considering that 83% of Fortune 500 companies have accounts and Twitter reported last week that it has more than 300 million active monthly users.

However, these B2B companies aren’t alone – only 19% of adults maintain an active Twitter account, which may seem high, until you find out that nearly 60% use Facebook on a regular basis. Additionally, Apple, arguably one of the most influential companies, has never tweeted, engaged with users or even uploaded a profile picture on their company profile on Twitter.

Ultimately, these companies are missing out. With so many users, Twitter successfully reaches most industry spheres. It’s no secret that Twitter has proven to be an effective, and free, way to engage with a targeted audience, obtain pertinent news (in real-time, no less) and convey your brand’s personality.

So how can Twitter convert these non-believers? They have decided to address this issue by getting fancy, starting with their homepage.

Up until a couple weeks ago, the Twitter homepage was quite barren, with a simple message prompting you to “Follow your interests,” by signing up for an account. Yet, it gave no glimpse into what was behind that login page, why the 300 million dedicated users continue to use Twitter on a regular basis.

Now things look a little different:

New Twitter Homepage

Instead of its formerly stagnant landing page (ironically on one of the most interactive sites that comes to mind), Twitter’s home page now features collections of topics that lead you to curated Twitter feeds for news ranging from celebrity chefs to technology to travel guides. Filled with newsworthy and visually appealing tweets from some of the top Twitter users, it is hard not to want to engage with and share what’s on these feeds.

However, you can only access this if you are not logged in to Twitter. These feeds are created to entice the non-user, to let them see what they are missing. As Twitter put it “… we’re making a big change for the many millions of people who visit every month who don’t log in but still want to know what’s happening.”

Twitter knows its strengths and is hoping that by giving non-users a little tease of what they could be a part of, their active user numbers will grow.

Time will tell whether or not this will effectively convince the account-less B2B brands to join the Twittersphere, but it serves as a reminder that valuable opportunities can be unlocked by signing up.

Read more from Linnea DiPillo