Four Twitter Predictions For 2013

We’re two days into the new year now, a great vantage point for looking ahead and assessing how Twitter might perform in 2013.

The past year saw the introduction of Twitter photo filters, brand new Twitter profiles including the platform’s first-ever cover photos, significant Twitter mobile app updates and more.

2012 was also contentious for Twitter. This year, Twitter put new restrictions on what it would allow third-party developers to do, and went to war with former ally Instagram over photo-sharing dominance of social media.

What will 2013 bring for Twitter? Five predictions, below.

1. The release of all Twitter users’ tweet archives. Twitter began slowly rolling out tweet archives for select users in mid-December. CEO Dick Costolo said multiple times last year that releasing users’ full tweet archives was going to happen by the end of 2012, so it’s sure to be done in 2013.

2. Better Twitter advertising. Among the things Twitter likely will, and must, do is better integrate advertising into the platform. It’s a tricky line to toe: brands need to be able to advertise and sell products in-stream, but users do not want to be suddenly awash in useless, irritating ads. As CNET pointed out, Google became a financial powerhouse when it solved the problem of finding better ways to place ads, in part with self-service ads. 2013 will see Twitter try to follow in those footsteps.

3. A tooth-and-nail fight with Instagram over photo-sharing dominion. Ever since Twitter missed out on snagging Instagram, relations between the two tech companies have been strained. Twitter cut off Instagram’s “find friends from Twitter” feature in July, then in December Instagram shut down Twitter photo integration. Shortly thereafter, Twitter rolled out its own photo filters and Pinterest ponied up with the addition of support for Twitter cards. Our prediction for 2013? The battle can only get more bitter, as Instagram continues to enhance its platform and Twitter surely strives to integrate photos more than ever into tweet streams. Do we smell the potential addition of a “Photos” tab on Twitter?

4. Personalized Twitter feeds. According to Rich Brooks, president of Flyte New Media, in 2013 Twitter could start personalizing your Twitter feed based on an algorithm similar to Facebook’s EdgeRank (“TwedgeRank,” perhaps?). The algorithm will include factors like Influence (based on ratio of followers to following; retweets, mentions and favorites; how influential followers are; and how often added to Twitter lists) and Alignment (how closely the tweeter resembles you, based on your bio, geographic area, lists you follow and appear on). That’d be pretty cool, huh?

What do you think 2013 has in store for Twitter?

(2013 image from Shutterstock)