This article originally appeared on 60 Second Social.
Twitter told us that 2015 was going to be a big year for them and so far they have delivered on that promise. Updates to the social network are flowing in fast now and in the past month alone there has been four significant updates to the social network service, two of those updates in the past two days. With so much going on it can be hard to keep on top of all these new updates at times.
Here are the top six changes from the start of this year and their significance to help you catch up if you have fallen behind on everything that has gone on so far.
1. Video Straight From The App & Slo-Mo Video Sharing
Back at the start of the year Twitter launched video sharing inside of the app, Twitter of course owns Vine which is a application that allows users to share 6 second clips and has given rise to some fantastic creative ‘vine stars.’ The video feature built into the Twitter app allows users to share video clips up to 30 seconds long and while it appeals to the average user there is also scope for companies and brands to get on board and share video clips about products and things that they do.
More recently Twitter introduced the ability to share slo motion video in the app. Taking slo motion shots on my 6 Plus is really enjoyable and now Twitter has a great way of being able to share that slo motion video clip with a larger network.
2. Introduction of Group DM
Around the same time of the new video features, Twitter also launched the ability to have group messages with followers. Previously the messaging feature had been restricted to one way conversation between two users however extending the feature to allow more users come into conversations was a welcome update.
However the feature is still in need of improvement. From the experience of the Irish Tech News team, the lack of nested messages turned out to be one of the bigger problems. The more users in the group message then the messier it gets, sometimes it can be just too hard to follow however we hope there will be improvements to the feature in the future to make it more usable.
3. Retweet With Comments
Another favourite of mine in terms of recent updates, this one was well overdue. The ability to add comments when retweeting has put an end to the struggle of figuring out how to retweet, add a comment and do it all in 140 characters. The new feature allows more scope for comment without having to mess around with the original tweet.
On top of that, the appearance has been cleaned up to make quoted tweets easier to read, now the tweet you are quoting appears in a box and your comment appears as a tweet above it. Have a look at the following example from the official Twitter account if you have not seen what I am talking about yet.
4. A New Homepage
Until recently, Twitters home page has been just static content with prompts to either sign in or to register an account. A recent update has seen the home page overhauled and it now offers a variety of content from live trends to popular topics. Clicking on one of the trends on the homepage will bring you to a Twitter search containing tweets on that topic.
The homepage was in much need of a facelift in order to appeal to return users and new users to entice them into using Twitter. The new page drives the variety of different content and conversation taking place on Twitter.
5. Direct Messages Without Following
This is a new feature which is opt in, you will need to enable it via your Twitter settings so don’t worry, your Twitter messages are not going to suddenly get flooded without warning. Previously if you wanted to send a message to someone you had to both be following each other. Personally I see this as more of an appeal to companies and brands however now you can enable settings that will allow anyone to send you a message.
This can make it easier for people to reach out and send messages to companies while bypassing the whole follow me and follow back protocol. Of course on the other side of the coin, opening your DM’s leaves you open to anything so it really is all or nothing. It could be a good thing but inviting anyone into your inbox may also be a bad thing, time will soon tell.
6. Abuse And Harassment Policy Updates
The final recent Twitter update is news that we ran just this morning, Twitter has updated their policies when it comes to dealing with harassment and abuse on the social network in an attempt to clamp down on the trolling and the hate campaigns which have plagued the service for some time now.
The new policy allows Twitter greater flexibility in dealing with people who break the rules and will hopefully result in a safer and cleaner environment for Twitter users, you can read the update in full from this mornings article here.
Twitter told us that 2015 would be an important year for them, they have recently promised more improvements to come especially on the private message side of things to make private messaging as enjoyable as public tweeting. Lets hope that the future improvements continue to be for the best, however so far so good this year!
Edit – And of course how can we forget (as pointed out by Ben Moore in the comments!) Twitter’s new live streaming app, Periscope which launched recently and has enabled live streaming from smartphones. Live streaming is becoming a big player in new media and time will tell just how big an impact apps like Periscope turn out to be.
About The Author
Mark is the founder of 60 Second Social media where he provides social media news and digital marketing analysis. You can follow him on Twitter here. You can aulso follow 60 Second Social on Twitter here. Or you can drop Mark an email at, [email protected]