As part of its ongoing effort to maximize its revenue potential, Twitter is working on some new analytics tools which would help brands better understand trending conversations, and how they can best connect with their audiences.
The first element is a new, real-time Events Dashboard, which would highlight both major events and breaking news, along with insights into the amount of related activity on the platform. That would enable businesses to better capitalize on relevant, trending discussion - of course, Twitter already provides a major events listing with similar info for advertisers (as shown below, and available in the 'Events' tab in your Twitter Analytics dashboard), but this new tool would highlight the information as it happens, as opposed to showcasing retrospective data.
Insight and Analytics
The second element is a new activity tracker, which would highlight when your Twitter audience is most active on the platform. Users can already access similar data via third-party tools (like Followerwonk), but this would bring that functionality in-house, within Twitter itself, and using Twitter's raw data feed, as opposed to third-party analytics. That's not to suggest that those tools don't provide accurate information, but there are advantages to being able to access direct data, incorporating the full Twitter fire hose, assuming that's how the system would operate.
It's interesting to see Twitter looking to provide it's own analytics tools - as noted, you can already access similar, so the additions are not broadly creative, but they would be helpful, and if Twitter can build an analytics and management option that provides all of these functionalities, and more, into a single, free to use platform, that could make it an appealing option, and could get more businesses conducting such activities on its system.
The important part with that is that once you have more businesses analyzing the data and working to optimize their tweet streams on platform, its easier to sell them ads - building in a simple add-on advertising process, while also lessening the unique benefits of third-party tools (as Facebook has done) could help Twitter convince more businesses to spend money on promoted reach. Given this, it's somewhat surprising Twitter hasn't done this previously, but then again, the platform doesn't have specific business profiles, it's never sought to give businesses the same dedicated focus that Facebook has.
That's both a positive and a negative - in some ways, it helps make Twitter a more level playing field, with all users able to access the same analytics, and no unique identifiers for brand profiles in the mix (Facebook has, of course, reduced the reach of brand Pages in favor of person-to-person interaction, which they can only do because they have business-specific options).
But then again, the lack of business profiles gives brands less focus - by creating a separate category for brands, Twitter could also introduce marketing-specific tools, and options better aligned with business use. You could make the argument that they could do this anyway, and users would have the option to use them or not, but making it a separate focus would better enable Twitter to separate its product and connect with business users more directly.
In other Twitter news from CES, the platform's also working on a new way to put more focus on real-time events by adding a new Events section, likely to Explore, which would highlight happening discussions and enable users to tune in without having to know and follow specific hashtags or users. That could help new users get more out of Twitter by better showcasing the latest and greatest trends, though it would likely require some level of manual editing in each stream to sift out the trendjacking junk.
There's no official word on a release date for any of these new features as yet.
And one other bit of Twitter news - the platform is also now letting some users test its new desktop layout.
As noted in the image, the new version includes a data saver mode and an easier way to access bookmarks. It also notes that Night Mode will be available, though that's been the case for some time for most desktop users.
There are also a range of cosmetic changes - here are the new and old profile layouts side by side.
As you can see, the profile bio is bigger, spanning the length of the timeline, while the data on followers and tweets has been given less emphasis. They've also shifted around the images (from the left of screen to top right) and added a trends panel, while taking away the tweet activity chart. The tweet compose button has also been shifted to a floating style, similar to the recent iOS update.
In addition to this, it's also faster, according to Twitter, and includes various other features
It’s the future :) We are moving to this new experience over the next few months. it’s a full redesign, mich faster, has bookmarks and way more— Gasca (@gasca) January 10, 2019
Definitely things are different - embedding a tweet, for example, takes you through a whole new flow, with more controls over how the tweet is shown, including displayed colors and more.
I mean, it's interesting. Not sure it accomplishes all Twitter might hope for as yet, but I've switched across and will test for a while to see if anything feels easier or more difficult.