Twitter is getting a Face(book) lift: According to Twitter’s blog, the “new web profile lets you use a larger profile photo, customize your header, show off your best Tweets and more.” Just like a Facebook page. Here’s the list of the features that will come with the changed visuals:
- Best Tweets: Tweets that have received more engagement will appear slightly larger, so your best content is easy to find.
- Pinned Tweet: Pin one of your Tweets to the top of your page, so it’s easy for your followers to see what you’re all about.
- Filtered Tweets: Now you can choose which timeline to view when checking out other profiles. Select from these options: Tweets, Tweets with photos/videos, or Tweets and replies.
For journalists, the “pinned tweet” feature could give news organizations and reporters the opportunity to highlight newsworthy tweets, especially during times of breaking news when misinformation circulates faster than any printing press.”Filtered tweets” also has some potential of making a basic search function for content helpful when looking for realtime, first-person accounts and documentation of breaking news as well.
My one concern from reading this preliminary announcement is the “best tweets” feature. Sometimes the “best tweets,” which Twitter defined as the tweets that get the most engagement, aren’t always correct or the best for news. For example, say a large news organization tweets information that is later found to be incorrect, but millions of people RT it or engage with the content. However, later tweets stating the correction don’t usually get quite as much traction as the erroneous one. Depending on how predominantly those “best tweets” are displayed on profile pages and how much customization is given to users, this could change the way news organizations handle corrections on social media.
According to Twitter, the new layout will be available today to a limited number of users. New Twitter users will also begin using the new profile. In the coming weeks, the new layout will be available to all users.
Photo of FLOTUS profile design comes from Twitter’s blog post on the profile redesign.
I take a stab at what the new Twitter layout could mean for journalists and news organizations over on my Pressing Matters blog. What do you think about these changes?