When Jack Dorsey took recently over as CEO of Twitter, we knew changes would be coming.
The bearded billionaire simply wasn’t going to stand by, and watch Twitter struggle any longer. The social media platform hasn’t added any new users in the past six months in the United States.
Social Media analyst firm, Statista, tabulated that Twitter has 316 million users. That pales in comparison to the 1.4 billion users boasted by Facebook.
We never know how real those numbers are, as some people create and manage a multitude of accounts, but it’s safe to say Facebook has a safe margin of users versus Twitter.
That seems like a head-scratcher to me. Twitter is an excellent platform for sharing information and ideas, as well as networking. Hell, it’s an absolute gold mine for breaking news.
My love for Twitter, and the love of many of my social media marketing friends online isn’t enough to grow the platform.
I certainly don’t have a batphone into Dorsey’s office, and my advocacy of Twitter certainly isn’t going to raise the company’s value.
I do wonder what it will take to grow the audience on Twitter.
I’m still having a hard enough time trying to comprehend why some of my former news colleagues, journalists whose careers are made by breaking stories – aren’t on Twitter.
Law enforcement, emergency and Government officials use it to convey information. Brands engage consumers on it. Scott Walker announced his short-lived candidacy for President on Twitter.
So, what is Twitter playing with to improve the user interface?
The company started off with adding polls.
If you aren’t familiar with how polling worked before this new addition, tweeters gave their audience a choice between two options, using the RT button in support of one, and the FAV button for the other.
This was a recent example in the Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City – a derby – which is a really big matchup between teams from the same area.
As you can see in this informal poll by BT Sport Football @BTSportFootball, 79 people retweeted in support of Manchester United, and 52 Favorited in support of Manchester City.
Now, this poll surfaced after the polling feature was release, so perhaps BT Sport isn’t with the times, or prefers polling its audience this way.
Here’s how the poll option looks now. You will see Poll, beside a little pie symbol on your timeline.
Click on that button to create your magic.
While, I am not a fan, I created a poll just in case. As you can see, I had a little fun with it!
Are you seeing more of these in your timeline? Do you like them?
Here’s a sampling of people who aren’t hearting the new addition.
Twitter’s second change, and this apparently bothers more people than the polls, if the above messages are an indicator, is the move to change the favorite icon from a star to a heart.
Twitter introduced the change on November 3rd.
The corresponding gif played inside the post:
So, how did the Twittersphere react? My timeline had a few inquiries, from Buffer @Buffer and from Twitter guru Madalyn Sklar @MadalynSklar did the wisest thing, she created a poll!
Here was one quick reaction from David Boutin @dmboutin.
David was not alone. His sentiment mimicked by many, including @somecleverthing @Jenthulhu @SassyTexasgal @triptych_Angel and @LaScanner.
And the biggest change people are bracing for is the rumored change of character limits on Twitter.
There is definitely a range of opinion on this subject. Some revere the 140 character limit. Others would like to open up the platform to longer form rants!
And.. then there are those who dislike long hashtags while trying to have a twitter discussion. Katie Pavlich @KatiePavlich has a legitimate beef! I too have noticed lengthy hashtags clogging up character counts. Oh and (@TheSharona06) doesn’t sound like someone you want to upset! Her opinion on tweet count complainers is hilarious.
(Sounds like an idea for another blog post.)
Ben Landis @benlandis brings up a good point, that expansion doesn’t have to lead to gluttony.
Brittany @minajxknowles addressed changes and rumored changes in one tweet.
The funniest tweet comes from Buzzfeed’s Michael Rusch, @weeddude who at 125,000 tweets, does not want to see his institution overhauled!
What will Twitter tweak next? Only @jack knows.