Why Twitter Threads Will Boost Narratives
A while ago I wrote about the importance of social media stories, and why they matter in the context of building a narrative. The platforms succeeding with the stories format have two things in common – ease of use and access to users.
And while Moments didn’t quite become the storytelling tool it could have been for Twitter, the platform recently announced that they're rolling out a new 'Threads' feature (similar to the Tweetstorm for those of us who have been using Twitter for a while), which will enable users to build on a narrative as they go by bringing together strands of a larger story.
We’re introducing an easier way to Tweet a thread! pic.twitter.com/L1HBgShiBR— Twitter (@Twitter) December 12, 2017
The good news is that it's being rolled out to all users, rather than a select group, and the ease of use is very familiar, with a simple add button to link your tweets together. These two elements mean it will become a valuable tool on the platform.
Here are a couple of ways in which Threads will provide new opportunities
Richer Context In Narratives
Despite their advances in video, Twitter has traditionally been a text first platform.
Other key players in the stories space (Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram) are now, or have always been, visual media first. This puts Twitter into a unique position to start building truly rich narratives. Copy creates context, and with 280 characters now available per tweet, I expect that we will see much richer content narratives.
Native to the Feed
The other advantage is that the format is already native to the feed - it’s not a breakout section, a new tab or a separate app.
It’s storytelling in the familiar Twitter style, which will aid in consumption and creation. Add to this the fact that Twitter remains one of the few platforms which allows you to (largely) opt-out of an algorithmic feed, meaning your audience is real time, increasing your impact.
Discoverability Will (as always) Be Key
While Twitter threads will appear within the native feed, this will also be a challenge for discoverability.
Twitter will need to work on how they highlight tweets that are threaded to truly make them useful.
These are just some of the ways that Twitter Threads will offer new opportunities for connection, and for brands to connect with their audiences in new ways. As people get more accustomed to them, we'll see different ways the option can be used, and find out additional best practices and options to help make the most of Threads.
A version of this post was first published on Ben Shute's blog.
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