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Twitter’s timeline, and other updates

Social media waits for no man, or so they say. Just look at the world’s most talked about micro-blogging site for proof, with recent times welcoming major changes.
The biggest of all being Twitter’s stock market floatation. So far the offering has been a far more stable event than rival Facebook’s near-catastrophe, but experts are predicting a decline in share value over the next few months. Not that steps aren’t being taken to bolster the community’s advertising offering, and in turn its potential and perceived worth.
Back in March the platform introduced a far more comprehensive Ad Center to include better reporting and analytics, providing brands with in depth insights into engagement from both paid-for and earned media. This has now been followed by news that a ‘TV conversation targeting’ feature has been launched, allowing advertisers to target viewers of specific programmes whilst they are engaging with the show on Twitter.
For those without a budget for broadcast the new Custom Timeline feature is probably more of a talking point, mind. Using the TweetDeck client Twitter bought last year users can now set up what is, in effect, a subject-based List. Put simply, we can now create a bespoke ‘Timeline’ to display all tweets relating to a specific subject in consecutive order, name it whatever we like, and choose exactly which tweets are included. This is then made public via a dedicated page on the network, which can in turn be embedded onto our own company website.
Like we said, the idea is a lot like a List in terms of sorting information relevant to a specific brand, event or story. But, unlike a List, with a Timeline we can select the updates to feature on an individual basis (rather than having every post from chosen users), or tweak the API to include specific rules. For example, you could now ensure the only tweets from @SmokinggunPR to appear in your ‘Trusted PR agency’ Timeline include the keyword ‘marketing’ or ‘#blaggersblog‘.
In April 2012 Mashable ran an infographic on the rise of social media as a news source, with this latest tweak to 140-character functionality clearly aimed at making this process easier. 1.6billion search queries are made on Twitter per day, as such this tool will ensure common searches we use are established within the parameters of what makes up our overall information feed.
When coupled with August’s update- Related Headlines, whereby we are provided with click-throughs to web articles from trusted sources linked to particular tweets- and the network’s reputation as a great place to find story ideas and inspiration looks solid for some time to come. Of course, it’s a shame the powers that be have removed the ‘DM Anyone’ feature introduced over summer to allow people to Direct Message everyone with an account irrespective of whether they were followers or not. But still, you can’t have everything.

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