7 Twitter Expectations and Predictions

twittercloudsTwitter hasn’t given us much.  We got a new homepage annnnd that’s about it.  So it’s pretty interesting that they’ve recently been announcing a few new features on the way.  They’re no small endeavor either.

Here are some additions that you can (officially) be expecting:

1. Official Retweets: Twitter has announced Phase 1 of their “Project Retweet”.  To this point “retweets” or the reposting of someone else’s tweet has been a feature created by users and has not been officially supported by Twitter.  Apparently, that’s going to change.  There are many implications of this project, so check out the article.

2. Premium Accounts: Don’t let the recent hoax fool you, twitter is planning to offer premium accounts.   Mashable Editor Ben Parr was able to confirm that premium accounts are indeed coming but we might not be seeing them for a while.  As expected, the first premium accounts will be targeted at businesses.

3. Location Based Tweets: Currently, users can put in their location in their profile. The new location feature will allow users to switch on an option that will read your longitude and latititude and so others can see exactly where you’re tweeting from.  The potential implications of this addition are huge! Anything from news, to closer integration with other location focused apps like foursquare to well, some darker implications and issues that will inevitably occur.  Regardless, things should get interesting.

Here are some features I’m predicting they’ll add soon:

4. Spam Killer: It’s getting bad. Now spammers learned that they don’t even need me to follow them in order to get their message out.  They can send @ replies, and some even use bots to automatically reply to, or retweet, anyone that uses specific keywords.  Something should be done, and I think Twitter knows that.

5. Official Replies: They’re making retweets official, why not replies as well?  Much like retweets, a @reply is a twitter feature created by users.  Twitter has officially recognized their value and created a replies link on the homepage, but I think they’ll officially integrate it into the system. Edit: To clarify, I mean that it will be built into the system.

6. A Big Acquisition: This is completely speculative, but I think Twitter is going to be making some purchases.  They’ve got a truckload of funding, with little to spend it on.  They openly stated in article about premium accounts, that they were thinking about buying friendfeed before facebook beat them to the punch.  Why would they want to acquire other companies? I’d say functionality.  We’ll see Twitter start to buy the companies that provide the most valuable functionality…probably 3rd party twitter apps. Possibly one of the big desktop apps?

7. Your Predictions: What do you think Twitter will do next? I’ll add some of your predictions here.

  1. Officially integrated hashtags: “an evolution of the hashtags, making it easier for tweeters to follow popular trends” –Rich Pulvino
  2. Less down time: “Server stability.” –Danny Brown
  3. Analytics and real-time search: Figuring out how to capture, parse and report data about user demographics and what users are sharing and discussing would be something any business would like access to. –Amy Mengel
  4. BUY FOURSQUARE: Seems incredibly obvious to me…and would be a great match for both companies. –Stuart Foster

24 thoughts on “7 Twitter Expectations and Predictions

  1. Nice predictions David!

    To go along with the “official” theme of the rewteets and replies, maybe Twitter will develop an authenticity project that will work to ensure that the entity behind the tweet is a human, and not a bot, ensuring that the messages are officially human. That also ties along with the reduction in spam that you mentioned.

    I’d also like to see an evolution of the hashtags, making it easier for tweeters to follow popular trends, instead of the hashtag listing on the sidebar and typing a subject into Twitter’s search.

    1. Ensuring the that people signing up aren’t bots would be great. I wonder if they’ll try to come up with a system to prevent impersonators as well…although I don’t think they really have to.

  2. One big problem Twitter seems to be facing is that very few younger people are embracing it. Of the people under 22-23 years old (and many other 20-somethings), most think it’s a waste of time and not relevant to them–they essentially can do the same things with Facebook, and aren’t interested in business aspects of it. Maybe Twitter doesn’t need/care about the younger folks, but if they do, they’ll likely need to do something to start getting younger people interested.

    1. Hm interesting. You think twitter will want to make an effort to bring in the younger crowd? Every other major social network has always tried to grow, and expand into new segments. I wouldn’t think this would be priority number one for them though.

      I wonder what they’d need to do to attract the younger age group.

    1. haha you’re right. I meant more like how they’re implementing Retweets. It won’t be just text in your 140 char, it’ll be built into the system. Under the tweet it will still say “in reply to”. Essentially, you won’t have to type out someone’s name within the tweet to direct a reply to them.

      Know what I mean?

  3. Here are a couple of features I’d like to see.

    1. Server stability.
    2. Server stability.

    All well and good offering premium accounts, but if it’s on a wonky sever, that’s like a top class hooker making out with you on a bed with burst springs in a Wal-Mart parking lot. In broad daylight.

    Plus ca change… 😉

    1. You truly do know how to paint a picture haha.

      That’s a good call though. They’re going to need to beef up their servers if they expect anyone to actually pay for the service.

      1. They’re upsetting enough people with the free version as is. And that’s where they need to be careful as well – will they then start to “desert” their early (and I’m guessing what would still be) core users for the premium ones?

        1. That’s a good question. I don’t think so, only because we’re the ones that would be spending the money…and telling the businesses to spend their money too.

  4. I think you’ll eventually see Twitter provide the capability to segment followers. Many users already do this with desktop apps like TweetDeck, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Twitter offer way to group those you follow based on different criteria (like geography, for example).

    I also think that analytics and real-time search is a huge opportunity for Twitter and figuring out how to capture, parse and report data about user demographics and what users are sharing and discussing would be something any business would like access to.

    They definitely need to get a handle on security, spam and server downtime, as others said.

    With Twitter’s open API, they’ve really been able to allow a lot of the R&D to happen for them via third-party apps and can now just cherry-pick the features that have the most promise.

    1. I think being able to capture, parse, and report data is a huge one that may be tied into premium accounts. Twitter, if the data was recorded and organized better, would be the number one place for online market research.

      I think we’ll start to see a lot of cherry picking soon (=

  5. I just want something that I think, should be simple. I just want the followers page to bring back the ability to view someone’s bio without clicking to the person’s profile. When they changed to the new followers page options, they did away with the link to the bio. It used to be that when you hovered over a person’s name, you saw their bio show. Now when you hover over a username, you see…their name. You don’t even see the marginally more useful real name, you just see their username repeated. It’s a useability issue.

    I kind of think that this may be either a small bug/glitch they missed, or an oversight. That whomever handle the redesign missed that this was a popular feature. Every time I tweet about it, I get people agreeing- bring the bio back. Those who may use third-party tools may never have seen that former option. Also, some people may not have known it was there, if they never hovered over a name

    Bios a an important key why I may or may not choose to follow someone. I’d almost rather have the bio show up where their latest tweets shows. But I’m not sure. Their latest tweet may tell me something about how they use twitter, but it is a tiny slice, but the bio tells me more.

    While I’m wishing, I wish that twitter had a search option (not to replace the main people search, but to augment it), which would allow me to search for keywords in bios. Although it might lead to keyword stuffing by spammers, so maybe it’s not such a good idea.

  6. Another idea. I’d also like to be able to find people in a city, or at least a state from the find people page location feld.

    I don’t think I will like the current version of the geo-location option brewing. I DON’T want people to be able to see the location of my home office, which is often where I tweet from; or to be able to see that I am tweeting away from my home office. Privacy, safety issues etc., Google maps/earth street level is bad enough.

    I identify my Twitter location with the larger metropolitan area near me, as twitter is global. Very few know my little suburb, it would be fairly meaningless.

    One f the things I, and I think others, like about Twitter is while you are sharing your interests, personality and expertise, you are not offering up personal info that spammers can easily use. On Facebook – you can use the privacy rules to protect your email address, phone #, address etc., but it is cumbersome. On Twitter, I either choose to share my details via DM when people want to connect elsewhere.

    Also, If someone wants to connect, most of us have a link to a website, which hopefully has a contact page email/phone etc.

    Thanks for providing this forum.

    1. I think a lot of people will have a problem with the new location implementation…although privacy seems to be becoming less and less a concern lately.

      The bio point is a great one. I’ll be honest, one of the reasons I stopped following many back is because I didn’t want to sit there and click to each persons’ page to see their information. They definitely need a system that makes it very easy to see the needed information, and to follow them.

  7. If I ran Twitter, and I’m not saying I don’t, I would probably start the most important campaign in my sites history. Crushing my enemies.

    Maybe Twitter is developing some sort of internet sword that can shoot laser beams, maybe they aren’t; thats neither here nor there. What is important is that they will use it to defeat Xenu, finally put myspace out of its misery, obliterate the kid who lives across the street from me who always parks right in the middle of the spot in front of my house EVEN THOUGH HE KNOWS ITS A TWO CAR SPOT BECAUSE I LEFT NOTES ON HIS WINDSHIELD LIKE 20 TIMES, and also blow up the death star….which Twitter also may or not be building.

  8. I’d like to see an upgrade in the Twitter Profile. Who is this person that is talking to me? Maybe multiple URLs per user? With icons even like we see on the right column of your blog? FB, LinkedIn, Google Pages…etc

    Maybe an integration of Twitter with http://WeFollow.com and http://Twellow.com

    We’d be able to get a deeper dive into folks location, who is near them, what keywords are associated with them and others, and how they tagged themselves..

  9. Twitter API staff has actually stated in the past that they had no intentions to provide grouping (http://apiwiki.twitter.com/V2-Roadmap). I’ve heard/seen nothing that changes that.

    @ replies are a sticky issue. It’s enough to get more than one receiver on a single tweet — something given and taken away several times. String parsing sucks, and scaling has been a major issue for Twitter. String parsing is hard to scale by its very nature. Twitter may eventually offer better reply/mention handling, but don’t bet on it anytime soon.

    Acquisitions? Nothing on the horizon. Summize was huge for them. Yes, they have some cash to burn, but nothing like Facebook’s acquisition-friendly coffers. Plenty of opportunities for outside entities to pick up value — like Seesmic did with Twhirl. Not a lot on the horizon screaming “Buy me twitter” right now. Keep an eye on the dev list, hot topics, apps and trends are made pretty obvious there.

    Spam killing? Also hotly debated on dev list. In a best-case world Twitter would give us GMail-like, semi-intelligent tunable spam filtering. We’ll see. They have something like ONE dedicated, knowledgeable person dedicated to spam-realated tasks …


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