After previewing them at its recent Analyst Day overview, Twitter is now officially launching a live test of its new 'Professional Profiles', which will provide a new way for brands to present themselves on the platform, with dedicated tools and features aligned specifically with work use.
As explained by Twitter:
"Professional Profiles are a new tool that will allow businesses, non-profits, publishers, and creators - anyone who uses Twitter for work - to display specific information about their business directly on their profile. We’re starting with a small pool of businesses in the U.S. and will give more accounts access to Professional Profiles in the coming months."
As you can see in the above example, the new Professional profiles include more information, including address and contact info, within the main profile frame, and an updated layout, in variance to personal handles.
The format displayed in today's announcement is slightly different to the one Twitter featured in a preview of its Professional profiles early last month, which included more options like business category and new badge types.
The example also doesn't confirm the addition of other new elements, like product displays panel or image gallery, which are also in development.
But it is early days, and as Twitter notes, it's starting out with only a small group of brands in the app, with a view to developing the option further, and providing new ways for brands to maximize their potential on the platform.
Creating separate business profiles, as Facebook and Instagram have already done, could facilitate a range of new opportunities for Twitter, both in regards to business promotion, and facilitating new opportunities for brands, and for Twitter itself, in categorizing and managing exposure and reach.
Twitter could, for example, end up following the lead of Facebook, and reducing the reach of business profile tweets in order to encourage ad investment, which could help it increase ad spend to maximize promotions, while also boosting interaction between individuals. But then again, given brand profiles have been mixed in with everything else for years, most of the best brands have already adapted their tweet messaging to remain relevant to their followers, without interrupting, while people are also following the brands they want to hear from, which could make it difficult for Twitter to justify such a move.
But that's just one example of how dividing out brand profiles could open up new considerations for the platform, while it could also facilitate new, dedicated product launches, streamlined ad opportunities, conversation tools and more.
It'll be interesting to see where, exactly, Twitter goes with it. eCommerce, via in-stream product displays, seems like a no-brainer, given the broader shift towards online shopping, which pretty much every other platform is working to align with (and Twitter is also experimenting with other in-stream eCommerce options).
But as noted, there's a range of other potential opportunities here.
This is just the beginning, with Twitter assessing early feedback and iterating the test from here. We'll keep youn updated on any progress.