Features Twitter Needs

What product features Twitter needs?Twitter CEO Dick Costolo asks one question at every product team meeting,  “What’s a bolder choice we could be making?

This question got me thinking – what features would Twitter users and businesses welcome?

1. Edit a tweet

If I found one Twitter user who at some point didn’t wish to edit the tweet after it went out, I would be surprised. Whether it’s a silly autocorrect mistake or overlooked typo, once the tweet is out, it’s out. Tweets you want to edit need to be deleted and reposted again. This is especially a problem if the tweet has already been retweeted, because by deleting the tweet, the engagement on that tweet is also gone. It seems like a no-brainer feature, so why didn’t Twitter enable it yet? One issue is that Twitter is first of all very viral in nature, and it is, for the most part, public. Imagine retweeting a tweet with a certain text and picture and after the user edits it – and say includes a swear word or inappropriate image – it is now on your timeline, hurting your public image. So how can Twitter go around some of these issues? For instance, it could only allow edits on tweets that haven’t been retweeted. This would not resolve the lost engagement issue, but it would at least address the inconvenience of having to delete and repost entire tweet because of one small typo.

2. Suggested hashtags

Many people are unsure which hashtags would fit their tweet. Based on the content of the tweet, Twitter could suggest relevant hashtags where people could just add the hashtags with one simply click. Better yet, it could include an option to have up to 3 hashtags added automatically, which would make the process of tweeting even quicker and easier. RightTag is a great tool to do just that (with fantastic real-time hashtag analytics) but many people are still unaware of this tool.

3. More visual timeline

Social media is an increasingly visual space. Twitter has been moving in that direction as well, but there is still a lot of space for improvement. For instance, Instagram and Pinterest pictures shared on Twitter currently don’t show as a picture but as a link. Should they ‘populate’ and show as a picture, retweets of such tweets would increase. Same holds true for the videos. If you share YouTube video, only the text link will show. The only visual way to currently share a video on Twitter is through Vine. Why not to give the option of adding a video attachment to the tweet directly? And why not to throw Slideshare presentations, pdfs, and other popular formats in the attachment options?

4. Promote how-to Twitter articles on new user timelines

Many new users give up because they just don’t get Twitter. They don’t know how to get new followers and how to engage. Even though Twitter has its own user guide and there are tons of how-to Twitter articles all over the Web, putting it in front of the users while they are using the platform would make it even easier. Does the user have small follower base? Promote a tweet on the top of his timeline about getting new followers. Does the user only tweet his own content? Suggest an article about top ways to engage on Twitter.

5. Join Twitter chat

Finding a Twitter chat that’s relevant to your interest and that’s taking place at the time when you can join is actually quite a task. Twitter would benefit from its own Twitter chat directory where users could search and submit the Twitter chats. The users could then sort it by category and day of the week for instance. This would make it easier on users to find conversations to join and increase chat participation. Even better, Twitter could have Twitter chat rooms people could join in the real-time.

6. Top trends based on category

Twitter has already made some changes to make Top Trends more relevant, but out of the 10 trends that show on my Twitter, only about one is actually something I care about despite having ‘Tailored Trends’ feature on. Tailored Trends are supposedly based on one’s location and people one follows, but since I follow mostly entrepreneurs, social media mavens, and success-related tweeps, Game of Thrones, Caitlyn Jenner, and Ana Ivanovic seem more like a very generic suggestion. I would find more useful trending topics based on category, so I could quickly discover what is trending for instance in social media, small business marketing etc.’

7. Schedule a tweet

Twitter added the option of scheduled tweets to its ad platform in 2013, but who would want to go through all this trouble (unless you are running a Twitter ad) if there are fantastic tools like Buffer or Sprout Social where you can schedule tweets with one click? It makes sense for Twitter to enable its own scheduling feature, but make it one-click deal and not a cumbersome chain of events.

If you were at the Twitter product meeting, what features would you suggest?

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About Lucie
I am curious and passionate about all things social and pretty much anything else I put my mind into.

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