Archive | Twitter for Business RSS feed for this section

Does Twitter Seriously Decide To Remove Its Share Counts?


It seems like the latest Twitter’s update is not so favourable for some publishers.

Twitter is getting rid of the share counts in its sharing buttons and affecting publishers, including The Huffington Post and Entertainment Weekly that used to show that count on its article pages.

Twitter revealed the change in a blog post Oct. 6 and since then, the numbers have been disappearing from its social share buttons that often sit atop a story alongside ones from Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and other sharing platforms. The move affects total share counts, even if they’re not broken down by share button, leading to grousing from publishers, who say the data was important not only as an internal guidepost of what content is performing well but as a way to promote content with readers by showcasing its popularity.


Twitter based the move to technical reasons, saying it decided to discontinue the feature to speed up improvements in its technology and that the API that publishers were using to pull in the article shares count was an unofficial hack, anyway. Although conveniently, Twitter provides the data for a fee from its data service Gnip.

Responding To Latest Facebook “Reaction”, Twitter Is Also Testing With Emoticons

Twitter Logo

What’s up with the latest Twitter emojis update?

But then, of course, the change wasn’t designed with regular users in mind. The social microblogging company made the change in order to boost the platform’s appeal to new users, based on the fact that the heart emoji is the most used across Twitter and is a more universally recognised symbol. Twitter supported this further last week, saying that the heart is already being used more than the star was, justifying their logic (though it’s very early days and much of that response is likely driven by novelty value).

Still, if you’re still feeling stung by the change, there may be an offering on the horizon that could ease your troubles when deciding whether to click on that icon or not. Much like Facebook is doing with their new emoji response functionality ‘Reactions’, Twitter is reportedly experimenting with a new emoji response mechanism that would enable users to choose their own reaction to a post. No longer would you have to use the ‘heart’ to signal your appreciation, you may soon be able to use one of 36 different icons to convey your emotional response to a tweet.


The new option is currently in ‘pre-user testing’ mode. As you can see here, there appear to be 12 options per page, and three pages, giving the user 36 potential emoji to use to respond to a tweet. @_Ninji noted that once selected, the emoji response replaces the ‘heart’ symbol on the tweet.

One of the more interesting wrinkles of this plan would be the amount of data Twitter could glean from the application of such responses. Twitter’s been pushing to increase the value of their data of late, yet they’re somewhat challenged in this regard due to the fact that virtually all of their information and insight is posted publicly, therefore freely available to anyone who wants to track it. This makes it harder for Twitter to generate significant profit from their data options – while Facebook and LinkedIn, for example – have built in their networks, and thus restricted access to their valuable audience insights, Twitter has, by design, gone the opposite direction. This means that Twitter has effectively reduced the potential value of their data – though, the counter to that is that Twitter wouldn’t exist if they’d taken any other approach.

Given the trend and the evidence found here (including the suggestive statement from Twitter), it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see this functionality rolled out for testing sometime in the near future. Seasoned Twitter users will probably hate it – but as with the heart, it’s not all about them.

Twitter Has Launched The New Brand Hub

Twitter Logo

Twitter is rocking the marketing world again with the launch of a new service called Brand Hub.

Twitter’s newest Brand Hub helps advertisers understand their share of conversation, key audiences and trends about their brand’s conversation. For starters, Twitter developed a new metric called TrueVoice, which is determined by analysing tweets about the advertiser’s brand and its competition. Then Twitter identifies the percentage of these impressions that the advertiser’s brand owns. For instance, as consumers see an ad about a company and its competitors on TV, display or social, they publish tweets that are then counted in real time through TrueVoice.


Click to Enlarge

In addition to TrueVoice, advertisers can check out audience insights that shed light on the people actively talking about their brand on Twitter, including details like gender, location, income levels, occupation types and other demographic attributes. This section of Twitter’s Brand Hub also highlights key influencers.


Click to Enlarge

Lastly, the Brand Hub offers conversation details that help advertisers understand how people are discussing their brand on Twitter. This report enables users to see how many impressions their brand has received, how many tweets mention a specific brand or product and other top phrases associated with the advertiser’s brand or product. What’s more, users can see breakouts on key topics like brand loyalty, purchase intent and more. Large companies with sub-brands can also further segment their data by product or sub-brand.


Click to Enlarge

Twitter notes that Brand Hub is now available to select brand advertisers and medium-sized businesses in English-speaking countries. To get started, users must visit or go to and choose Brand Hub.

Twitter Polls: Nine Ways To Optimise The Twitter Polls


Twitter has long been the place to turn for opinions on everything from who will win tonight’s game to ideas for your next blog post.

And now it’s just become even easier to gather opinions from your audience on Twitter. With the release of its new Polls feature (available to all Twitter accounts in the coming days), you can now create super-simple polls directly on Twitter with just the click of a button or a tap on your phone. As with many new features, people are eager to learn:

  • How can you get started with Twitter polls?
  • How do they work?
  • How can you use them to boost your marketing and your business?

Polls on Twitter aren’t a totally new concept. In fact people have been running polls on Twitter for a long time through either a “retweet/favorite to vote” mechanism or by using hashtags to count votes. Twitter polls appear to be a much more effective way to run polls and opens up polls to everyone, natively.

Twitter users can now create their own two-option polls and gather votes from their audience. Polls are a native feature?—?meaning the polls are embedded directly into the tweets, rather than having to use Twitter Cards.

If you want the public’s opinion on anything?—?what to name your dog, who will win tonight’s game, which election issue people care most about?—?there’s no better place to get answers than on Twitter. For poll creators, it’s a new way to engage with Twitter’s massive audience and understand exactly what people think. For those participating, it’s a very easy way to make your voice heard.

Polls are extremely new and there’s not yet any public data on how polls boost engagement or the rate at which followers engage with this feature. Some early polls have been very popular though with many people participating and a high level of retweets. Twitter’s Todd Sherman explains more over at Product Hunt:

Engagement is quite high. Novelty is undoubtedly part of it, but I expect it to be a small part. When you look at some of the polls that have gone big, they tend to be ask questions where people have real opinions, or they are jokes.

Polls spur more conversations around the topic than asking the same question without a poll because people reflect on what others think. It’s going to be fascinating to see how people adapt to this new feature.

To help you get a head start, here are nine ways you can utilise Twitter poll:

1. Letting followers vote on content

Polls can be a great way to not only create engaging content for your followers but to also involve your followers in the content creation process and allow them to play a part in deciding what content you publish.

2. Asking for Predictions

Whether it’s who will win the NFL game or who will come out on top in the latest TV talent show, predictions have been a huge part of Twitter conversations for many years. Polls provide a new, fun, and engaging way to ask for predictions from your audience and a platform from which to build conversation.

3. Having fun

Polls don’t always have to be serious and using Twitter’s new feature as a way to have some fun with your followers could be a great way to boost engagement.

4. Requesting product feedback

Requesting feedback from customers can sometimes feel like a big ask. Polls could be a great way to get bitesize pieces of product feedback in a more fun, snackable way. Try to think about scenarios within your product, learnings you’re after or hypotheses you’re looking to validate that can be broken down into simple two-answer questions and put them out there as polls. Polls won’t give you all the data you need to move ahead with big decisions, but they could help you to get the ball rolling.

5. Reacting to real-time events

Twitter is amazing for real time coverage and reaction to events, and polls add another layer to this real-time engagement. Instead of tweeting a question to your followers and trawling through hundreds of replies to gauge reaction, you can use a poll to check what your audience things.

6. Gathering opinions for news stories

For years, news companies have polled opinions to sit alongside and support their stories. Twitter polls are a fantastic way to quickly see a snapshot, public opinion on a topic. If you’re writing a news piece or even something for your blog, you could create a Twitter poll to include within your piece.

7. Lean market research

Polls provide an awesome way to grab opinions from a snapshot of your audience. If you have a hypothesis floating around about your market, you could create a simple poll as a first step to validating your thoughts. This quick, lean approach will take minimal time and give you results in 24 hours or less. From your results you can then look at whether or not you’d like to further explore your original hypothesis.

8. Feedback on what you post

Fans and followers love to feel connected to their favorite brands and individuals. Polls open up the opportunity to build even stronger connections. You could use polls to give your followers the opportunity to help shape your content strategy and provide feedback on what they’d like to see more (or less) of in one simple click.

9. Embed polls in a blog post

Embedding your tweets is a great way to increase reach and drive more attention to your profile. Embedding tweets containing polls into your blog can add an interactive element too. This could be a great way to engage your readers and get them re-engaging with your content or Twitter account to discover the results. Once a poll within your embedded tweet is over, the tweet will show the results and still provide added value to your overall blog post.

Twitter Launched World Series-Related TV Commercial, Trying To Grab Younger Audiences’ Attention


During its Q3 earnings call, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey says that the company would be running a new TV commercial during the World Series.

This new commercial was done by the same group that did the Apple’s 1984 campaign. While it’s not the first commercial by Twitter, it does look like the beginnings of an actual “campaign.” Twitter is looking to go after the younger crowd.

While currently Twitter Moments are interesting to watch for the general public, it might fail to grip for someone who’s on the fence or leaning towards consuming their tweets on CNN or ESPN. The key is slowing down the service in a consumable way for folks who aren’t hardcore real-time users, young or old. The product itself does that pretty well, letting you catch up on stories of all types at your own pace. Take a look at the video below.

The commercial doesn’t necessarily reflect that as everything zooms by on the screen, even though it all ends up being reflected in the calmer Moments setting. Will people who forgot all about Twitter’s actual product and haven’t seen it in quite a while take a second look after seeing this? They will, if they 

Vine and Twitter Has Their App Connected, Making It Easier For Users

this picture represents vine, the social media sharing based on 6 seconds video loops, logo

Vine and Twitter have released the latest update to make it easier for people to follow their favorite accounts across both social networks.

With the new update, users that have connected their Twitter and Vine accounts will have their Twitter account appear on their Vine profile and other areas of the app. What’s more, people will be able to search for specific Twitter handles to find and confirm the same user on Vine. In fact, when someone taps on a Twitter username, they will go straight to that person’s Twitter account and will be able to follow that person.

Furthermore, a new Twitter setting lets creators choose to show their Vine account on their Twitter profile. With this update, Twitter profiles will display attached Vine accounts with the account’s number of total loops. When the link is clicked / tapped, people are redirected to the user’s account on Vine.


Vine has updated its profiles to show each account’s total loops with the same number shown on connected Twitter accounts. Loops are counted every time a Vine is watched within Vine’s mobile apps and website, as well as on embeds across the Web.

“As people make great Vines that others love and want to watch, those creators get more and more loops. By surfacing that number to the world, anyone can quickly get a sense of that creator and the impact of their Vines” said Vine in one of its official announcement.

The updates are available on the latest versions of Vine for iOS and Twitter for iOS and Android. The update will be arriving on the Vine app for Android soon.

Twitter is Showcasing Stories with Grids


Twitter is helping users by having a better way to tell stories with content within its network.

Previously, when users wanted to publish a story with Tweets, it was necessary to manually manage a bunch of Tweet handles and embed them into their app or website one at a time. Twitter has simplified that process, however, with its end-to-end ecosystem that enables users to leverage tools like TweetDeck, Curator, Spredfast, Dataminr, ScribbleLive, Wayin or Flowics to find and organise the Tweets they want into a single story.

“Great stories drive great audiences, and with your tweets organised using these new tools, you can display them on your own websites with Embedded Timelines on the web, and in your apps with TwitterKit on iOS and Android, in just a few lines of code. Just like Tweet embeds, the background and text colors are easily customisable, so your timelines blend perfectly into your app’s design,” Twitter said in its announcement.

In addition, Twitter unveiled a new “embedded grid” feature, which enables users to showcase stories in a more engaging way. The new, rich and responsive grid display can be leveraged to embed stories to any site or app. From the example Twitter gives in its blog, it seems as if this display works best with visual content, like videos and images. In fact, the social network notes that the new display gives users an engaging, immersive experience by highlighting multiple Tweets at once, with images and video displayed edge-to-edge.


Along with this new display option, Twitter is unveiling to make it even easier for users to embed Twitter content. According to the social network, the goal is to make this tool a “one stop shop” where you can preview all of the different types of displays offered in Twitter Kit and grab the embed code for any Twitter content a user wants to publish. To get started with the tool, users simply need to enter a Collection ID or URL for any story that they create and then will show a preview of the responsive grid and give a single line of embed code that can be used to publish the Tweets on a user’s website or apps.

How To Tweet Successfully Without Tarnishing Your Reputation (Infographic)


On Twitter, tweets that include images receive significantly more engagement, with more than 23 percent retweets, favorites, replies combined than tweets without images.

The science of Twitter engagement is always growing since the last decade. That’s why the following infographic has analysed one million Twitter tweets to study about what factors affect the amount of engagement of each tweet receive.

Take a look at the following infographic for more details.


Click to Enlarge

Infographic credit: Buffer

Twitter Has Updated Its Amplify Program, Making It Available For More Businesses


Twitter just announced an expansion of its Amplify ad program, making it more accessible for wider publishers and advertisers.

For those who might not aware, Amplify is Twitter’s two-year-old program for video ads. Initially, it involved a direct and complex mechanism — the publisher would embed a short video clip in a tweet, then the advertiser would both include a short pre-roll ad in the tweet and pay to promote the tweet in Twitter.

In the new, open version of Amplify, an advertiser no longer needs to work with a specific publisher. Instead, they choose a content category, then Twitter will automatically include their pre-roll ads in videos tweeted by relevant publishers. That said, advertisers can also use Twitter’s other ad targeting capabilities as well.


This isn’t just about making the process easier for advertisers. The update also gives publishers a monetary incentive to share their video clips on Twitter. The revenue split is 70 percent for publishers and 30 percent for Twitter. Moreover, publishers will be able to blacklist certain advertisers or categories if they feel like they’re not a good fit.

“With this expanded version of Amplify, we’re excited to help people enjoy more great video, publishers drive more revenue, and brands align with the best mobile video moments, all at scale,” said David Reagan, a senior product manager at Twitter.

Publishers participating in the expanded Amplify program include companies in sports (Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and SB Nation), TV (Billboard Music Awards, Fox and MTV), digital (Maker, Fullscreen and Kin Community) and news and entertainment (Funny or Die and BuzzFeed). Twitter made the announcement at an event for advertisers and marketers in New York City, where executives also talked about the broader vision for video on Twitter.

The new Amplify program is currently in beta testing with a limited set of publishers and advertisers in the US, with plans to expand globally.

The Reason Why Twitter Has Removed Its Share Counter From Tweet Buttons


Recently, Twitter announced that it will switch off share counts as part of a change to its widely used tweet and follow buttons.

Tweet and follow buttons are used by many web publishers, with the share counts used as an indicative measure of popularity. It obviously has no bearing on the content quality itself, however many do use the tweet count figure to get a read on how that piece of content has been received.

The announcement that Twitter is looking to switch off share counts has sparked much discussion, questioning why the micro-blog giant would do such a thing. Getting a sense of the community angst, Twitter has today released a new blog post explaining the logic behind why they’re removing share counts from tweet buttons – and while their reasoning makes sense, it’s probably not going to appease anyone fretting over the removal of their tweet numbers.

Hard Decisions

In one of its official blog posts, Twitter has provided several technical reason why they’re moving away from displaying share counts on tweet buttons.

“One of our goals is to build a predictable, dependable platform for you to build your websites, apps, and businesses. We also want to ensure that the products we build are supported by Twitter Engineering. As a result, we design for longevity in order to limit any questions about deprecating APIs. Like you, we have finite engineering resources, which requires us to make choices about which products and public APIs we invest in.”

This flags the main reason for the change, that Twitter is moving away from their ‘Cassandra’ system to ‘Manhattan’ – a “real-time, multi-tenant distributed database for Twitter scale”. The mechanism through which Twitter currently counts tweet shares is through Cassandra, so as part of the migration to Manhattan, it’s impossible to keep offering tweet counts, at least not without considerable costs in re-building the system. And while that explanation is quite technical – most of us have no idea how the actual systems work in this regard – Twitter does offer a few other reasons as to why tweet counts have been deemed expendable, and will be cut off as a result.

Noting, specifically, the planned changes to the tweet button, Twitter says:

“The Tweet button counts the number of Tweets that have been Tweeted with the exact URL specified in the button. This count does not reflect the impact on Twitter of conversation about your content — it doesn’t count replies, quote Tweets, variants of your URLs, nor does it reflect the fact that some people Tweeting these URLs might have many more followers than others.”

So what Twitter’s saying, in effect, is that the tweet button isn’t really reflective of performance anyway, so its relevance is questionable. Twitter goes on to note that the tweet count has never existed as part of their API endpoints and that most share buttons provided by other social networks don’t include counts either.

Data Value

Of course, the other, logical, reason as to why Twitter might be removing share counts, suggested by several commentators (including myself), is that Twitter may be looking to increase the value of their data. In the original post announcing the change on the Twitter Developers Forum, it’s noted that accurate share counts will remain available through Twitter’s official data provider, Gnip. While Gnip’s prices are not readily available on the website, the service reportedly costs between $300 to $4000 per month, depending on what level of data access you require. By removing free access to such info, Twitter would effectively be forcing publishers to pay in order to keep using tweet counts as an indicative measure.

The other motivation could be to push more users to access Twitter Analytics to gain insights into how their content is being shared on the platform – and once there, Twitter can also prompt users to advertise on the platform, highlighting relevant tweets and opportunities among their audience.

Whatever the true motivation is, we can’t know, but Twitter’s explanation does provide some additional context behind their decision, which may or may not help users better understand or accept the change.

Worth noting too, the change to Twitter buttons was originally slated for this month – it’ll now go ahead on November 20th, 2015.