One of the major problems with Twitter, especially for Marketers, has been it’s ephemerality. A report in 2010 suggested that the active lifespan of a Tweet was effectively 1 hour – in that 92% of all the re-Tweets happen during that single hour. After that, you might get a few irregular Twitterers chasing up with an untimely RT, but it’s pretty much game over.
This obviously limits the usage of Tweets and the value of Tweeting, so it’s unsurprising that Twitter is now battling furiously to extend the usefulness of the humble Tweet. Promoted Tweets help brands to get their Tweets into new streams, but retain the requirement of popularity (RT’ing) in order for such Tweets to survive. Twitter’s most recent changes, though, could give Tweets semi-permanent status. Here’s how:
Firstly, the launch of brand pages – which offer companies a richer, more configurable experience than the tired old Twitter Profile pages we’ve grown used – include the ability for companies to create Featured Tweets. These are real, working Tweets that are pegged onto their profile, which visitors can view, interact with (if they have a photo or video attached, that’s viewable too) and, crucially re-Tweet. This could keep your best Tweets in circulation for months, or even years.
Similarly, according to Brian Solis, Twitter is also going to allow people to embed Tweets into websites and blogs etc. This effectively takes the concept of Featured Tweets a step further, allowing you to use real, working Tweets as adverts, links and recommendations in places you might normally have displayed a button, link or banner.
It’s hard to say how important these changes will be for you and I, but I’m sure we’ll see some creative uses of embedded Tweets in the coming months (BTW – if you don’t yet have them, hold tight, they’re being rolled out over a few months). Combined with the long overdue brand pages, they will hopefully breath new life into Twitter – which has to be good for all of us.