Slowly, but not subtly, Twitter is evolving. The origins of Twitter dates back to 2006 when its primary purpose was to be a microblogging platform where users could make an update in 140 characters or less.
The company rapidly grew and in 2013, and filed the necessary paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision to launch their IPO. That is the main reason why the once simple platform is not as simple anymore. Here are some highlights from the changes made to the service over the past several years:
- 2010 – Ability for users and businesses to “promote” Tweets to assist with their advertising efforts.
- 2013 – Twitter launches “Vine” as a video-sharing app.
- 2013 – The company becomes publicly traded.
- 2013 – Twitter allows embedded images within its feed.
- 2014 – New profile designs are launched for users.
- 2015 – Twitter plans to remove 140 character limit from direct messages.
Now that Twitter has the added pressure to please its investors and provide a return on their investment, here are 5 predictions on the direction the platform is going.
1. Twitter creates separate news application
The company has already become a staple of the average American’s process for finding breaking news. There is a lot of money to be made if Twitter can find a way to take ownership of the content news stories or leverage a way to license the ability to different sources.
2. Company attempts to become a player in the business communication space by offering new suite of (paid) tools
A business’s ability to reach its employees quickly and at scale can be a huge competitive advantage.Twitter has proven that they can get any message out to the masses, so it would be interesting if they enter this new space.
3. Character count expands by 10-20 characters
This would be a huge change from the core setup of the business. We’ve seen it over the past few years with added images, videos, increase in message character length, etc., the Twitter feed is getting more and more cluttered.
There is a limit to how much advertising dollars can be made if a company is limited to 140 characters. For example, some businesses like this one may have products that are very descriptive or require additional imagery. If advertisers are only allowed 140 characters, how much detail can actually be provided?
4. Sponsored tweets “stick” to the top of Twitter’s feed and app
If Twitter was to aggressively pin sponsored Tweets to the top of the feed, clicks and impressions for those advertisements would increase. What happens when those metrics improve? Money in the shareholders’ pockets.
5. Request for more personal information to match users with similar interests
This could have two positive effects at once. For one, users would be able to find similar users in their communities or simply find individuals with similar interests. Secondly, advertisers would now be able to segment even further to improve the quality of impressions for their advertisements.
It will be interesting to watch the company evolve over the next several years to see if any of these predictions come true.
Kara is a marketing enthusiast with a passion for email marketing and researching new trends. In her spare time, she loves cooking, recipes, spending time with family, and drinking coffee. A lot of coffee!
Information about the history of Twitter was used in this post.