After being left behind by Facebook and Google+, last Thursday Twitter officially announced the launch of brand pages. Designed to strengthen their relationship with advertises, brand pages are accompanied by a wider user interface redesign and offers a number of useful features that will no doubt improve Twitter’s attractiveness to brands that are utilising social media.
Facebook has long held the number one position for brands looking to branch into social media. It’s a trusted well established site with over 800million uses and offers useful features such as the ability to hide content behind a ‘like’ wall, comprehensive user statistics and support for apps and other page modifications. Google+ only recently launched their brand page service. Considered by many as a sleeping giant this service offers only basic profile modification above stock individual pages and a smaller user base than competitors, but given the push Google is applying has the potential to evolve significantly.
Finally we have Twitter. Prior to launch Twitter only offered the same basic page to all of its users whether they are individuals or brands. This launch sees brand pages now able to distinguish themselves through three key areas. First is an expanded and fully customizable header image area which brands can now use to display their logo and tagline more prominently than the current offering. Second is the “featured Tweet” area where brands are able to highlight a specific Tweet. This allows the ability to extend a Tweet’s shelf life for much longer than previous and also auto expand content such as an embedded photo of video. Third the ability to separate @replies from @mentions will allow brand page managers to streamline their communication and reduce other Twitter noise.
Example of a new Twitter brand page; custom art headers and option of pinning an update with picture at the top of the tweet stream.
While initially rolling out to only 21 accounts including; Coca-Cola, Nike, Dell, American Express, McDonald’s, Best Buy, Subway, JetBlue, and Heineken this update will make its way through to more businesses in the New Year. At this stage it is difficult to predict the impact that this will have on the social media landscape and choices available to business, but one thing is certain with the three major social networks now competing in this area we will be sure to see more innovation and new features specifically for business available in the coming months.