Twitter is not for everything, but it’s the best at these things & getting better

For those of you who have been paying attention to this blog, or really anywhere else that I post my thoughts & theories, you can probably guess what my personal favourite social channel is – but what’s even more important is what it means for the rest of social media.


Beyond my belief that Twitter is the purest form of social – where all ideas and links have a similar opportunity to spread – it finally seems to be figuring itself out and is intensifying as the world’s best source for what’s happening now.

Since @Jack’s status as CEO switched from “It’s Complicated” to “Committed”, there has been a noticeable move to solve Twitter’s biggest problem: What the hell is it?

The way that I’m now explaining it is: When something amazing/tragic/political/historical happens, it’s the best place to get the latest information along with context and opinion from people closest to the event.

It’s also the best place to interact with any brand that’s paying attention. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a brand resolve a simple issue that I had in a few tweets where otherwise I could have spent a frustrating amount of time on hold with their call centre.

This week, they introduced two more major features that we (as brands) should be paying attention to, and we (as users) will likely see resulting in a shift towards real-time content.

1. A new “Provides Support” badge for brand profiles
The Support icon will be provided to brands that have self-identified as profiles that encourage customers to slide into their DMs.

2. A Time-to-Respond counter
Much like Facebook’s average response time display, Twitter is going to make our average time-to-reply publicly available. There’s nothing like the threat of a good old public shaming to get the corporate wheels turning. The upside, of course, is that the brands who do a great job will have another little gold star that they can shout out.

Why it all matters:

You’re not a big Twitter-er? I won’t hold it against you, but there’s a moral to this story that I hope you’re picking up on: Despite the dominance of a couple of massive social channels, we’re starting to see others focus on and dominate niches. Quora (expert Q&A) isn’t going anywhere, Trip Advisor has a fiercely active travel community, and Twitter is the hotness for journalists & customer service professionals.

Expect to see more of this time of stratification happening as users become more savvy and their habits allow for more than a few icons in their social media folder.