When I first wrote about Twitter three years ago, I was all excited about the two hundred followers that I had attracted. A few years and few more followers later, I am still bullish about Twitter. However, I do find myself going through periods of involved activity followed by spells of inactivity, largely driven by time constraints. Some Twitter features and restrictions meant that I had to do more work than I wanted to, to stay active.
Doing Twitter right takes work.
[Tweet “How do you stay engaged, relevant, communicative, and interesting all at the same time? “]
How can you create glanceable content every time?
Though, Twitter has been doing its part. Some features introduced by Twitter over the past few months have helped improve the user experience.
So here are five newish Twitter features that you can actually use.
Retweet with comment: I believe that this is the most important feature introduced by Twitter over the past few months. The ability to add a comment to a tweet with a single click simplifies the whole retweeting experience. In my opinion, there are two clear benefits to this feature. If you are the tweeter, you do not have to worry about using up all the 140 characters that you are allowed. If you are the retweeter, you do not have to concern yourself about modifying a tweet before you retweet, ensuring that you do not alter the essence of the original tweet.
Insightful post. Mostly common sense, yet often overlooked… https://t.co/J06x8zZIV4
— Dax Nair (@DaxNair) May 24, 2015
Twitter Analytics: It is fair to say that the life of a tweet is fleeting. As such, the impressions and engagement your tweets get help you see what resonates with your followers. It also gives you a dashboard of your activities, breaking it down by tweets, replies, favourites, and retweets. If you are serious about establishing a presence on Twitter, Twitter analytics is a must have. If you have not already done so, follow this link to set up your account analytics.twitter.com.
Muting a user: Every social media platform has its share of chatty personalities. Often you wish they would just shut up, or leave you out of their hourly updates. Blocking them is an option. Though blocked users are not automatically notified, if they attempt to visit your profile, they will be notified that they have been blocked. If they are friends, relatives, or colleagues, this may not sit well. The mute feature lets you get past this problem by quietly shutting out the noise from overactive Twitter followers while keeping social interactions civil. To find out about muting a Twitter user, check out this post.
Group messaging: If you use the direct messaging feature on Twitter, you probably are aware that Twitter expanded this functionality to include a group as the recipient of the message. Using this feature you can tweet private messages to up to twenty users who are your followers. The invitees themselves do not have to be following each other to be part of this group messaging feature. This feature comes in handy when you want to strike up an impromptu discussion on something, or, do not have the email addresses of all the folks you want to include in a conversation. Here’s a post from HubSpot that provides more details on this feature.
— Dax Nair (@DaxNair) May 21, 2015
Mobile video uploads: Earlier this year, Twitter introduced the capability to upload short mobile videos directly from your IOS or Android device. While video uploads from You Tube and Vimeo to Twitter are not new per se, users had to click links before the videos could be viewed. The mobile uploads now offer a preview to users potentially encouraging them to click-through and view your visual masterpieces. Here’s a relatively new post on how to do this.
So have you been using these features? Are there others that have improved your UX?