As of Wednesday, Twitter has expanded upon their Expand feature. The expand feature is what makes it possible for users to see Youtube videos and Instagram photos simply by hovering over a link. This gives users the option to preview what is being linked and to decide whether it is something worth clicking. It ultimately made Twitter more interactive and user-friendly in that the links that are posted are no longer a guessing game.
Now, Twitter has taken the Expand feature a step further to include things such as news articles and other online content. As Twitter has become the easiest way for news stations and websites to deliver breaking news, this new addition is critical. Instead of simply being able to link followers to an article, without being able to really tell them what is in it, websites can now show headlines and even a few lines of text. If the follower wants to read more based on what they’ve read already, they can click the link.
It’s also a new opportunity for advertisers and brands. Most companies and brand names have official Twitter accounts, on which they post advertisements and information about what’s new with their products or services. Until recently, this wasn’t a very effective tool at all. Without something to draw them in other than a URL highlighted in blue, people tend to just scroll down to read what their friends are up to. With this new feature, however, every link will provide users something to view directly on the page they’re on. So, every blue link that shows up triggers intrigue about what might pop up when they hover over it. It is this that brands and advertisers will be able to take advantage of, by drawing Twitter followers in with what expands from a link.
With this new opportunity, however, must come some careful planning. For example, if a website is trying to link an article to appear in the expand feature, they must carefully choose which lines will show, and figure out what kind of headline will drag in Twitter followers. Also, if an advertiser is taking advantage of the feature, they must be attentive to how best to take advantage of it.
Twitter is often said to be the most relevant social networking idea. It’s also been stated that it is the only one that will last. The argument holds water, because it is where people go to catch up on what is happening with friends, family, and the rest of the world. Twitter keeps people updated more consistently than any other site, like a live stream of information. It’s important to keep something like Twitter fresh and effective, something they’ve done with the Expand feature.
The people at Twitter continue to come up with ideas that build up the strength of their network and optimize their site for everyday use. This most recent update is just one of many innovative ideas. It seems that our world has started revolving around social networking, therefore making it absolutely necessary to keep the components on the up-and-up.