5 Twitter Updates Marketers Need to Know from 2016

Twitter had a great year in 2016 with a number of significant updates, designed to enhance the user experience. Now marketers can get even more creative with these additions. We took a look at some of the most important updates to help you get more out of your Tweets.

5 Twitter Updates Marketers Need to Know from 2016

1. Live Streaming and 360 Video

Twitter first incorporated live streaming video into their platform with the use of Periscope, an external app acquired by the company in 2014. As of December, you can now go live directly on the platform – no app downloads required. With the popularity of live streaming in 2016, this was a welcomed upgrade for Twitter. Twitter also introduced live 360 video, giving marketers more opportunities to create original and interactive content to engage audiences in real-time. We can’t wait to report on how companies will be making the most of these new developments.

2. Character Count

In June, Twitter loosened their Tweet length restrictions by excluding photos, videos, GIFS, and polls from character count. Additionally, Twitter dropped the ‘@name’ and .@ convention, which are abbreviations used to respond to other users. This was a strategic move from Twitter – as our data show, companies from the top 500 global handles struggled to keep their Tweets short, with less than 2% Tweeting in 50 characters or less. Thanks to the change, marketers have more space to express themselves and can get more chirp for their Tweets.

3. Algorithmic Timeline

In Twitter’s mission to attract and engage users, they adopted an algorithmic timeline to show audiences more of the content they interact with. Similarly to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm update, this was a big change for Twitter users that were used to seeing the latest published Tweets. It’s no longer just about creating real-time content. To successfully break through the noise and improve reach, marketers will need to create quality content that their audiences actively engage with.

4. Verified Accounts 

Twitter’s blue iconic checkmark helps users immediately identify verified accounts. Previously, this blue badge was only offered to media, brands, celebrities and other public figures. Since July 2016, Twitter users can apply for a verified account through an online application process. The platform’s aim is to help make it easier for influencers to enhance their credibility and strengthen relationships with audiences. This update is also encouraging for marketers, who can now confidently collaborate with influencers on Twitter without the risk of hiring fake accounts.

5. GIF Search

Twitter launched a searchable GIF library in February. Now users can quickly find and add GIFs to Tweets and Direct Messages without having to leave the platform. It’s never been easier to add emotion to your Tweets. 

The Takeaway

These new updates demonstrate how Twitter is embracing the latest developments and content trends. We will continue to report on Twitter news and best practices in our blog, so stay tuned for more. 


Watch our Social Media Minute to find out what Twitter needs to do to stay competitive in the social media space.

Social Media Marketing Manager

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