Social marketers stand to benefit from Twitter feeds' new features and improved design because of the engagement possibilities it will bring.

For such a dominant social media platform, Twitter hasn’t changed as much in the past eight years as some of its counterparts like Facebook. However, it’s starting to look like people will one day think of two Twitters: “Pre-2014” and “Post-2014.” Just consider some of the alleged changes that have been unveiled in the recent past:

• A version of the Android Twitter app that leaves out @replies.
• Instances of the “Retweet” being changed to “Share.”
• Mock-ups of a new layout with bigger pictures, arranged on cards.

The last point could never be confirmed – until now. Twitter has officially announced that the new web interface is already live for select accounts and new users, and over the course of the next few weeks, existing members will see their feeds transition to the updated design.

The changes might irk some longtime users, but the new layout will be bringing some interesting features that will likely benefit social media marketing campaigns. That is, if they’re implemented properly.

Engagement and visuals will rule Twitter

twitter layout engagement marketing

The leaked mock-ups that went viral earlier this year implied visual changes, but they didn’t emphasize some of the functional differences in Twitter’s interface. For example, the social network is touting the increased visibility of high-engagement Tweets. Essentially, the more Retweets (or Shares) or replies a Tweet receives, or the more times it’s favorited, the larger it will appear in users’ feeds.

Users will also soon be able to pin popular or interesting Tweets to their profiles. That way, if a particular post gets a lot of engagement and becomes a focal point in news feeds, and then also see those Tweets when they visit other members’ profiles. Twitter is also apparently going all-in on a form of segmentation. Soon, everyone on Twitter will be able to filter Tweets with photos and videos, or to see Tweets and all the replies to them, in segmented lists.

A Twitter tailored to marketing

Many of these changes signal Twitter’s willingness to accommodate social marketing. Highlighting engagement, emphasizing visuals and lowering the bars to entry for new users all contribute to making Twitter a richer marketing environment. And while there is still clearly some tweaking going on, Tweets will still appear in the order they were made, rather than listed by an algorithm (as is the case on Facebook, as Brafton reported). So brands can rest assured their strategies won’t need to change significantly, though they might find assessing their most successful posts a little easier.

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.