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Twitter’s New Timeline – A Glass Half Full and Half Empty

Earlier this week, the world woke up to the news that Twitter will be rolling out their new timeline updates soon and people can expect major tweaking.

Now, as FastCompany writer, Harry Mccracken rightly puts it, you want to freak out a bunch of Twitter users?  Easy: Just give them the sense that Twitter is about to change in some fundamental way, without providing much in the way of concrete details.


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But for us digital marketers, our first reaction was that of doubt – about how this changes the visibility of organic tweets and promoted brand campaigns on user timelines.  Some were even wondering if Twitter was going full Facebook on us. Of course, we are talking about Reachpocalypse here.

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So here a few things that we have got clarified for the time being, and hope that this quells most of your questions as well

How is the timeline actually changing?

As the official Twitter blog tells us “Never miss important Tweets from people you follow”. The new timeline will basically show a compilation of the best tweets that users have missed “while they were away”– still recent and in reverse chronological order. The rest of the tweets will be displayed right underneath, also in reverse chronological order, as always. At any point one can just pull-to-refresh to see all new tweets at the top. And most importantly, one can opt out of the entire deal.

Will there be ads in the new timeline?

 Ads will definitely feature in the new timeline. Ads will flow through the new timeline just as they have in the regular chronological feed. This also means the new First View video ad spots, will appear within the new timeline as well.

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What’s in it for the brands?

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The timeline allows brands to boost visibility of their best organic tweets and to get more user interaction with that content. And that, in turn, should get more brands taking Twitter more seriously when considering both creative investment and advertising investment. Though it’s a challenge, brands have to fight for the audience attention more, as more the users engage with, better are their chances of appearing on the timeline.

What do marketers need to keep in mind?

It’s quite clear that Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts have not been affected by the change. But since organic tweets when well crafted have the potential to have better reaches, brands have to make an extra effort to better understand what’s resonating with the users. Brands should start taking creating content for Twitter seriously; they should start with the Twitter best practices guide.

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“This update is a clear way to draw out the most relevant content on an individual basis while maintaining Twitter’s core strength of being live,” said George Manas, Chief Strategy Officer, Resolution Media. “We’re incredibly excited by the opportunity this presents for all the brands we partner with.”

These are exciting times. We only hope that the new timeline rubs both the users and brands in a good way. At Capital Numbers, we have put our thinking hats on how to best use this opportunity in favour of our clients, visit http://www.capitalnumbers.com/digital_marketing.html to know more.

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