It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Social networks have already started to share those ubiquitous ‘cat in a Santa hat’ shots before many of us have even thought about dusting down the tinsel or spent a penny on dad’s socks.
Of course, they do say that a picture is worth a thousand words. But don’t forget that until recently Twitter fans had to make do with short, snappy text messages and little else.
Technology hadn’t evolved enough to bring those sparkling 140-character witticisms to life, so if you wanted to be dazzled by imagery you had to click on a weblink within the Twitter feed.
Thankfully, once the company had acknowledged the value of pictures they began working on making timelines more visual and engaging. So we saw the introduction of Twitpic, a resource that allowed you to instantly upload images – and extra pizzazz – to your posts.
But nothing in cyberland stays the same for long, and these days we have Vine, a quirky little app that allows you to capture and share short looping videos which can unleash your creative streak like never before.
Available now as an update for iOS, Android and web, Vine lets you upload motion and sound in eye-catching bite-sized video chunks sitting below related tweets. Although restricted to six seconds long, it is already spawning a new generation of online stars – along with millions of hooked fans.
The advantage, of course, is that these rich tweets can bring your followers closer to the action and make them feel they are right there with you.
Appropriate not just for sending those adorable cat images, but for tweeting reminders of important events, saying ‘Hi’ to a loved one overseas, or promoting your snappy corporate message to customers.
It’s easy to navigate too. To reply or retweet an image, you simply tap the screen without even leaving your Timeline.
If you are looking to reinforce your online presence, keep in mind that tweets with images embedded in the feed are 94% more likely to be re-tweeted – an important statistic, particularly if you are in business.
As Twitter’s Vice President Michael Sippey put it on the day of the update: “Starting today, timelines on Twitter will be more visual and more engaging: previews of Twitter photos and videos from Vine will be front and centre in tweets. To see more of the photo or play the video, just tap.”
You may feel that, in this regard, Twitter is beginning to look a lot like its arch rival Facebook with a seemingly endless stream of photos rolling in. True enough, but if users embrace these changes the possibilities for social networking going forward are almost limitless.
We could see automatic previews of other types of links, like articles and web pages, or images and videos from outside sites, like YouTube.
At any rate, industry insiders are convinced that a more visually-engaging Twitter is vital to its long-term commercial growth as it will help it to compete with image-friendly competitors like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
If you’d like to know more about how all this could enhance your Twitter experience, just drop us a line. In the meantime, happy snapping…and a very Merry Christmas from all the team here at Digital Eyes Media.
We look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!