[Predictions] On the Future of Twitter: Following Posterous, Summify Acquisitions

On March 12, 2012 micro-blogging service Twitter announced via it’s blog that it had acquired Posterous. Posterous, a Y Combinator graduate, innovated blogging platforms being one of the first to allow direct from email publishing of text, images, video and more.

The Twitter buy is reported to be heavily talent-based. As Twitter’s official announcement puts it, “Posterous engineers, product managers and others will join our teams working on several key initiatives that will make Twitter even better.”

While the acquisition likely has the 15 million Posterous users plotting a move to another platform (perhaps to the 110/120 million strong competitor, Tumblr), it – along with other recent Twitter acquisitions – has me asking, what’s next for Twitter?

Behold the Future of Twitter

Writing for Forbes, writer and business strategist Lim Yung-Hui paints one possible development for Twitter in Twitter Going Beyond 140 Characters with Posterous Acquisition.  Yung-Hui points toward the use of the Posterous Spaces concept as a potential content curation idea for Twitter.

With Posterous Spaces, for example, Twitter users can favorite and pininteresting tweets. Social contents curation is hot. Think Pinterest. Spaces feature can also offer group tweeting within a private environment on Twitter. This and many other possibilities abound.

Yung-hui isn’t alone in considering this possibility for Twitter, either.

Let there be Curation

On January  19, 2012 Twitter made another acquisition. Summify is (for now still) a service that sends subscribers a daily digest of (more or less) the most ‘shared’ links among the people the subscriber follows on Twitter. So, even if I’m not ON Twitter to check ‘the latest’ happenings that day I will get an email that shares with me the most celebrated and shared news among my friends for that day.

Over at the blog Techerator, Chitraparna Sinha, web content developer, full time blogger and an academic researcher proposes her own thoughts on product/service design enhancements for Twitter.

Perhaps Twitter acquired Posterous to build a unique news sharing platform with the help of its new #Discover tab. Won’t it be wonderful if Twitter users can use the #Discover tab to “discover” informative and unique blog content from their Twitter follower list?

Having the team, the talent and the blueprints now to both Summify and Posterous, Twitter should be introducing interesting product/service design developments in the months to come. And, they may be giving users a few interesting changes to rally-behind or decry as the worst possible development as well.

It’s pure speculation, but I can picture a future where content curation components support the engagement and promotion potential for (especially) brand pages and  general users alike. Discovery (and the associated tab) were thought to be part of Twitter’s newish identity when it unveiled design changes last year. Extending that portion of the platform could be something to watch for.

The ‘gathering’ of shared content (think Pinterest, Scoopit) could become a native element within the Twitter experience. Couldn’t it? (Consider the popularity of News.Me, Paper.li, among others).

Additionally, the ability to auto-post in many places is something that has made Posterous really innovative. And while many of the features that once where innovative are now integrated in most sites, Twitter could extend the reach of it’s users’ tweets by making them more transmittable.

We’ll have to wait and see just what the future does provide, but with fresh talent and pressure to perform, Twitter should have an interesting year.  Of course, one man thinks he already has the future of Twitter figured out. I’ll let him explain. (Thanks for reading. And, take care!)
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2d3jAoHias&w=640&h=360]

More on this:

Twitter Introduces Site Redesign, Embeddable Tweets, and Brand Pages

Thursday December 8th, 2011 Twitter introduced a redesign and new user features via the Official Twitter blog, the Twitter developers blog, and the Twitter advertising blog. Read on for a quick look, and discussion on what the changes mean for users, marketers, and Twitter.

New design

Micro-blogging site Twitter has (recently) introduced a new design to its users. Twitter claims that the new design is a means to enhance the user’s ability “to connect with what matters to you”, and to “discover more”. Statements from the official Twitter blog claim, “We’ll be rolling out the redesigned Twitter over the next few weeks.” And, “You can get early access on your computer by downloading and logging into Twitter for iPhone or Twitter for Android.”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qqDy5BmYKE?rel=0&w=560&h=315]
The simplified version of twitter effects twitter.com, twitter’s mobile apps, and twitter companion service Tweetdeck. Some of the more notable twitter.com changes include the ability to open tweets to view rich media such as photo files, and videos. The user’s dashboard has been redesigned, and now features a more streamlined look and feel. Additional changes include the use of ‘interactions’ in place of what formerly was retweets, replies, and mentions.

Notably, elements in the top bar (e.g. @Connect, and #Discover) are new from the redesign. They are part of Twitter’s hope that users will use, and see, the service as a discovery tool.

Embedable tweets

On the same day Twitter introduced the new version of Twitter.com, the communications platform also highlighted new user capabilities via embeddable tweets. *Embeddable tweets allow users to reference, catalog, and/or to showcase tweets on other websites, specifically blogs. For instance, a user can now take a tweet from a user, including a celebrity or an organization, and they can add this tweet to a blog post (see below).

[tweet https://twitter.com/twitter/status/144835430095921152 align=’center’]

The tweet will show up on the blog post dynamically, as you see above, allowing viewers to interact with the tweet via hyperlinks and real-time functionality. Give it a try. You can click on the username, follow, retweet, reply, or favorite the original message right from this blog post. (*Currently the two listed blog platforms that are working with embeddable tweets are WordPress and Posterous.)

Brand pages 

Twitter Brand Pages
Twitter Brand Pages

A third major component to Twitter’s announcements on Thursday was that of Twitter Brand Pages.  The company announced that 21 advertising partners had joined ranks with Twitter to launch this new feature which will allow businesses a more robust and controlled presence on the platform. Participating brands include…

Key features (to what must be an early version of brand pages) include auto-expanding tweets, which fully display rich media such as videos; the ability to have a featured, or ‘promoted tweet’ display at the top of the brand’s page; and the ability to display corporate logos and other images in a more prominent manner than before. Twitter brand pages are free and will be open to other businesses eventually.

For more on Twitter’s announcements and what it means for users, please visit the links provided at the top of this post. Thanks for reading!