Twitter is reinventing itself into a much more visual platform. It has to.
The competition demanded it. Instagram, Pinterest and other emerging visual social apps made it clear where the web was going. Mobile and visual.
It added Vine, the looping 6 second video app in January 2013. Twitter then continued its visual evolution when it allowed images to appear in the Twitter stream.
But it’s latest acquisition has added another dimension.
It bought the live video streaming company “Periscope” for $100 million. This app allows people to share live video and stories as they happen. This is a direct competitor to Meerkat that hit public consciousness in March at SXSW 2015.
It will be interesting to see how this catches on. But back to the visual Twitter.
So why should you be a visual tweeter?
The simple answer is that you get a lot more engagement. According to research the use of images results in the following:
- 18% more click throughs
- 89% more favourites
- 150% more retweets
When I ran my own tests they confirmed that to be true and in looking closer at “engagement ” this is what I discovered after running tests on my Twitter account for 7 days.
Increase in “engagement”
Engagement is defined as, “The total number of times a user has interacted with a tweet. This includes any clicks anywhere on the tweet. These include hashtags, links, username and Tweet expansion. Retweets, replies, follows and favorites”.
- Average engagement for tweets without images: 31
- Average engagement for tweets with images: 211
Increased percentage for “engagement” of a tweet with image over a tweet without is a staggering 581%
Twitter is the social web’s news breaker
The US Airways crash in New York City’s Hudson River in January 2009 heralded Twitter as the prominent news breaking social media network. This has continued through to today and it is now woven into many mainstream television programs.
Research also shows that Twitter is the perfect companion for the TV viewer with 3 out of 5 TV viewers use Twitter while watching television.
The following social media usage statistics provide some insight into the evolution of Twitter into what it has become today on the social web in 2015.
Twitter facts and statistics
- The hashtag (#) first proposed by the user Chris Messina debuted in August, 2007. The common wisdom at the time was that it would be “too techy” to catch on. Chris now has over 75,000 followers.
- The US Airways crash in New York City’s Hudson River in January 2009 heralded Twitter as becoming the prominent news breaking social media network
- In 2010 Twitter started monetizing its platform with promoted tweets, trends and accounts, 4 years after it launched in March 2006
- In 2011 it teamed up with Apple and Twitter was integrated into Apple’s mobile operating system IOS 5. This provided a huge surge in user acquisition
- For fun in 2014 it launched a “Discover your first tweet ” service.
- Timeline views for the last 3 months touched 182 billion
- Revenue at Twitter is approaching an annualised rate of $2 billion a year. The latest quarter revenue results were $432 million which was a 97 percent increase.
- Monthly active users (MAU) sit currently at 288 million
- There are 3,600 employees
- 50% of the employees are engineers
- 80% of Twitter active users are on mobile
- Vine (the looping video app) has 40 million users
- 500 million tweets are sent per day
- Three of the five richest people in the world have a verified Twitter account. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison have a combined $206.2 billion, according to Forbes, and are all sending 140-character messages.
- The most retweeted tweet ever came from Ellen DeGeneres in March 2014. The star-studded selfie tweet at the Oscars produced 3.4 million retweets.
- The first user to hit 1 million followers was Ashton Kutcher, beating out CNN in a race that was broadcast in a live stream from Kutcher’s home.
- Seven of the 10 most followed accounts belong to singers.
- Twitter won’t allow you to follow more than 2,000 people unless you have 2,000 followers.
- Twitter only added 4 million users in the last 3 months
- There are 391 million Twitter accounts with no followers
- Twitter’s technology can handle 18 quintillion followers
- Estimated number of Twitter users un the USA by 2018 – 66 million
- 33% of American Teens use Twitter
Sources: Twitter, CNBC. Expanded Ramblings, Pew Research
So how do use Twitter?
Is it just for fun? Do you use it to for driving traffic to your website or blog, creating brand awareness or driving lead acquisition?
Look forward to your insights and feedback in the comments below.
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