Twitter is moving to the next stage with its new Professional Profiles by opening the option up to all businesses, with applications now open to access the new profile display.
As you can see in this sequence, businesses and professional users (including creators) can now apply via this form to get a new Professional Profile on Twitter, which will then display their business information on their profile page, while also providing the option to include a ‘Shop’ or ‘Newsletter’ module for those that have a Revue newsletter.
It’s a little clunky right now, with Professional users unable to manually edit their ‘About’ info once it’s submitted (you need to resubmit the application form to change the displayed info). But still, it’s another significant step for Twitter, which could open up a range of opportunities.
As explained by Twitter:
“We know people come to Twitter to interact with brands and engage in conversations about products and services. All this demand gives us confidence in the power of combining real-time conversation with enhanced features for professionals aimed at better controlling and enhancing their identity on Twitter.”
Twitter’s been testing its Professional Profiles since April, with selected brands participating in the initial beta program. Twitter then started inviting more businesses to sign-up earlier this month, and it’s now looking to shift to the next stage, with all professionals and businesses now able to apply for the new display tools.
In addition to the new profile options, Twitter also notes that Professional Accounts are:
“…a gateway to a wide range of professional tools not available to non-professionals, including our Twitter Ads, Quick Promote, Advanced Profile features, and our future efforts around shopping.”
That last element is probably the most important, with Twitter working to evolve its eCommerce tools to provide more ways for brands to sell their products in-stream.
Indeed, Twitter’s undertaking a range of shopping experiments, both from profiles and individual tweets, and that could become an increasingly relevant option, particularly as other platforms develop their own eCommerce offerings, leading to more habitual buying behaviors within social apps.
And while there are only three additional Professional profile modules available right now, Twitter is working on others, with several additions that could provide more promotional opportunity for brands.
The new details could also provide more search and discovery capacity, with the business category, location and hours of operation all providing more insight to help Twitter improve its connection and facilitation efforts.
The question then is whether Twitter will eventually change its approach to professional profiles to limit tweet reach, like Facebook did with its business Pages. Eventually, Facebook reduced the reach of Pages in order to ensure that it showed users more content from friends in their feeds, aligning with user demand – which also, concurrently, pushed more businesses to spend more money on ads, in order to supplement their dwindling access to their Facebook audience.
Twitter could look to do the same, with the separate categorization of professionals and regular profiles facilitating all new options on this front. It seems less likely to be a focus for Twitter, especially since brands have now been present on the platform for so long (reducing the argument that they disrupt engagement). But still, it would technically be possible, which could be another consideration in your approach to applying for the update.
Then again, Twitter could also, eventually, make it compulsory for brands to make the switch, and with the streamlined access to the platform’s various business analytics and promotion tools, there are ways that Twitter could further incentivize brands to update, and it could well be valuable in this respect.
It’s hard to say right now, but for those that want to switch across, you can now apply for a Twitter Professional Profile via this form. Twitter says that it will be expanding access to the option over the next month.