Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter this week has left social media managers scrambling to explain potential changes and Twitter users wondering what this means for their user experience moving forward. From Musk’s own comments, the news, and general speculation, it looks like Twitter is in for some big changes.
It also means that businesses, organizations, advocates, and governments who use Twitter to get their messages out may see some significant changes to the platform in the coming months that could impact their digital strategy and overall approach on Twitter. The Digital team at Syntax is keeping a close eye on the changes as they develop in real time.
WHAT WE'RE WATCHING FOR
· Changes to the algorithm
· Potentially bring back previously banned accounts
· Functionality updates
- Character length changes
- Engagement options
- Changes to creative requirements
- Ability to edit tweets
· Integration and introduction of completely new functions
· Changes to the ad-buying platform and targeting options
· Changes to community-management tools and Twitter rules
· Reduction of spam bots
· Enhancements to Twitter Blue subscription services
· Changes in overall tone from platform users
· Increases or decreases in trolling
· Hashtag integration and tracking
· Changes in access to platform data
· New user trends
Audience and user trends
Today, Twitter users in Canada leverage the platform to track breaking news, politics, and commentary. Of course, users also use the platform to live tweet their favourite shows or sports games, but the evolution of Twitter from entertainment platform to viable news outlet and media centre is evident.
Depending on what changes become reality, platform user demographics could shift quickly. If the user base does begin to shift, this will greatly impact the Twitter strategies deployed by social media and online community managers. Many individuals, organizations, and businesses use Twitter to engage, influence, or advocate to government. In turn, many levels of government, policy makers, and political leaders use Twitter to communicate back to them. If one of these key audiences begins to erode, the symbiotic relationship will as well, which could change whether the platform is worth the time, effort, and financial commitment.
Trolling and online community management
For most social media managers, online community management is a big part of our day-to-day activity. Trying to reduce trolling, managing feedback and questions, and capitalizing on the positive in Twitter’s current state is already challenging.
Given Musk’s adamant commitment to “absolute freedom of speech,” that job is about to get a whole lot bigger on the platform. Depending on the changes to community management tools, such as being able to mute or report a user, combined with the reduction of existing Twitter rules, the platform may become unruly, and trying to maintain a reasonable Twitter account may no longer be an effective use of time to reach your strategic communications goals. Only a thoughtful cost-benefit analysis once the platform changes are implemented will be able to determine whether Twitter belongs in your social media roster moving forward.
Syntax is keeping a close eye on the changes and potential user trends to help clients transition their social media strategies to remain effective, responsive, and goal oriented.