Separating the tweets from the chaff

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Last week, Twitter announced its 2014 Q2 figures, reporting a share increase of 35 per cent and a 24 per cent year-on-year rise in monthly users – now totalling 271m per month.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo followed up on the announcement, stating that Twitter’s audience is even greater than the figures suggest, claiming that there are hundreds of millions more visitors who despite not being registered, still regularly search and browse the platform every month.

Costolo went on to claim that one of Twitter’s primary objectives is to focus on building the best experience for these unregistered users, making the platform as appealing as possible.

When questioned whether Twitter would experiment with a Facebook-style algorithm which filters posts depending how relevant it considers them to be, Costolo responded stating he is ‘not ruling out any kinds of changes’ and that Twitter would be looking into ways of ensuring users do not miss out on the best tweets from the accounts they follow.

On the upside, the introduction of a filtered feed could prove to be very useful for Twitter users – filtering out spam and ensuring the content they see is of genuine interest. On the downside, it may result in a sense of a loss of control – with users missing messages they in fact wanted to see.

For marketers, the update would increase the need for interactions even further, leaving those relying on broadcast alone, by the wayside, and at the bottom of a user’s feed.

In reality, and perhaps pessimistically, the updates are most likely a move to increase Twitter’s revenue, sparking a shift towards an artificially reduced organic reach much like fellow social giant Facebook.

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