Yesterday was Twitter’s first Analyst Day and during the event the company spoke openly about a number of new changes that are coming to the platform, talked about its goals for the future, and more.
Twitter has 284 million monthly active users (MAUs), but 500 million other people consume Twitter content every month (around the web, on television etc.) but never logged in. Additionally, 125 million people visit the homepage at Twitter.com and don’t login, sign up or see any additional content.
That’s a huge problem for Twitter. Let’s face it: Twitter feels bigger than it is. It’s everywhere, but “only” 284 million people use the platform on any kind of regular basis.
So how does the company plan to combat this problem? By launching a number of new and improved features, which include:
1. Instant Timeline
When a new user signs up for Twitter it’s almost instantly overwhelming. Their timeline is completely empty. They probably know that they need to be following other users to fill that timeline, but who? And how?
“We believe that anyone should be able to come to Twitter and immediately feel deeply immersed in that world,” said CEO Dick Costolo.
Enter the Instant Timeline, which will show a personalised timeline of events to new users to help them immediately figure out what Twitter is and how it’s supposed to work.
2. Timeline Highlights
One of Twitter’s biggest strengths is its speed at delivering information. Unfortunately, for many new users that’s also its biggest weakness, as they find it impossible to keep up. Even veteran users can feel like they’ve missed something when they’re away from Twitter for a while.
Twitter’s new Timeline Highlights will use an algorithm to highlight relevant tweets that you may have missed while you were away.
“There are time periods when something incredibly relevant to you as a user could have occurred hours ago before you open up the Twitter app,” said CFO Anthony Noto.
3. Better Direct Messages
During the event Costolo promised that Twitter will be adding “significant functionality to private messaging”, which includes the ability to share tweets in direct messages, allowing users to have richer private conversations.
This feature is expected to roll out next week.
4. Video Sharing And Editing
Twitter is working on functionality that will let users “take, edit and share video in real-time on the Twitter platform”, which it expects to launch next year.
“We believe that during any sort of local event, national event, global event, the opportunity for people, participants, to be live tweeting those things and broadcasting them to the world is a massive opportunity,” said Costolo. “That’s one of the reasons we are so excited about consumer video.”
5. News Alerts
Twitter has experimented with various breaking news alerts and notifications in the past but the company will be more aggressively targeting this space in the near term.
6. More Apps
Facebook has had a lot of success by spinning off some of its features into separate apps and Twitter also wants to pursue this path. Vine has been a hit for the company and Twitter will be actively developing other application options down the line (possibly a messenger app if the direct message system is radically improved).
“Like Vine, we believe there are complementary applications that can live outside of Twitter that will help us grow [the] largest daily audience in the world,” said Costolo.
“These are just a few examples of projects and focus areas we’re working on,” writes Twitter VP of product, Kevin Weil. “Over the coming months, we are picking up the pace of product changes and improvements. As ever, that will involve a lot of experimentation, and we’ll be listening to your feedback along the way to make sure we build a service you love.”