Twitter has some big changes planned for you, here’s what to expect.
Twitter has been hammered in recent months by analysts and investors about what it’s doing to address slowing user growth. During its Analyst Day Conference this past Wednesday, the company made it clear to the public that there are big changes coming soon to a timeline near you.
Twitter is planning new features that will transform the Twitter feed you know and (sometimes) love. The planned updates include easier ways to post video, new curation features, and better private messaging.
Here are 5 new features announced by Twitter’s team on Wednesday:
I recently explored why Twitter isn’t a suitable replacement for RSS. One of the most common complaints about using Twitter to keep up with your favorite content is that it never stops. With 500 million tweets published every day across Twitter, it’s hard enough to find interesting content without taking into account what you’ve missed while you’re away.
Twitter has announced a new Timeline Highlights section that will display important tweets, similar to the “Top Stories” view in Facebook. These tweets will live above your normal stream under the header, “While you were away…”.
No launch date was disclosed about when users can expect to this feature – only that it’s coming “soon”.
In addition to these highlights, new users can also expect an easier way to get acquainted with the service – the Instant Timeline. This feature is meant to help reduce friction for users who want to view a personalized timeline instantly without having “to spend time cultivating one on their own”.
Twitter’s sign-up process has always been a bit tricky, requiring users to search for accounts to follow in order to view content in their timeline. The “Instant Timeline” will automatically display tweets from recommended profiles to follow, based on topic preferences.
Video Sharing and Editing
You can also expect native video editing and sharing features to arrive during the first half of 2015. This means, you’ll be able to shoot, edit, and post videos directly in Twitter’s apps.
“We believe that during any sort of local event, national event, global event, the opportunity for people, participants, to be live tweeting those things and broadcasting them to the world is a massive opportunity,” Dick Costolo said. “That’s one of the reasons we are so excited about consumer video.”
Until now, the service has only allowed users to share GIFs and six-second clips from Vine, its looping video app.
Breaking News Alerts and Location-Based Content
Twitter has experimented with breaking news alerts before and it’s planning to add location-based news and events to your timeline.
Another interesting function the company is working on is making it easier to find tweets based on specific locations or businesses. In the future, you may be able to view other tweets organized around a specific location you’ve just tweeted from.
On Wednesday, Costolo also promised that “significant functionality” will be added to private messaging in an effort to reboot this feature (and presumably compete with other messaging apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, and SnapChat). The first big change is set to start rolling out next week and will allow users to share tweets in Direct Messages.