I follow a wide variety of unusual and creative people on Twitter so I’m a little worried about a new feature the company just released. Going forward (or once you download the update to your Android or iPhone), you’ll now see previews of some images and videos right in your feed.
Here’s an example of a lovely Twitter photo:
On mobile, just tap the photo and it will expand into its own frame. Vine videos will also show up as a preview in your feed. Just tap (or click) to watch. Twitter suggests you start Tweeting images without any text at all and since a picture is worth a 1,000 words, it’s a great way to say more with less.
Okay, I’m changing my mind. I like this idea of Tweeting pictures without any text. I’m going to try that when we’re done here and see how it looks.
This feature is also great for marketers, because now there’s no action required in order to see your material. Simply upload a branded photo or video and your followers will see it when they skim their feed. It’s a lot more eye-catching than a URL, that’s for sure. I don’t have a stat to back this up, but on my feed, 75% of the Tweets have links and there’s no way I’m clicking through on all of them. So, adding a photo is a great way to separate yourself from the pack.
As always, it’s the potential for misuse that worries me. First off, I don’t want to skim my feed and come across disgusting photos of any kind. But beyond that, I don’t want my Twitter feed to start looking like Instagram. I like words. I like reading what people have to say and I’m not interested in two pages of wordless images.
Today’s Twitter app update also includes the ability to reply, retweet, favorite, or follow someone straight from your feed. This should encourage more folks to interact with your Tweets but we’ll have to wait and see how it goes.
And did you notice Twitter’s earlier Tweet? They just acquired mobile ad management company MoPub. Looks like Twitter is getting serious about finding new options for advertisers. Nice.