Twitter About to Get More Useful for BusinessesBy: Chris Crum - December 15, 2009
If You don’t think Twitter is useful for business now, new features may change your mind. Twitter announced that it has begun limited beta testing of a new feature aimed at businesses, called "Contributors." The feature allows businesses to have more control over who is posting for their company Twitter account, and to make that information visible to users.
Would you find such a feature useful? Comment here.
"The feature appends the contributor’s username to the tweet byline, making the business to consumer communication more personal; e.g. if @Twitter invites @Biz to tweet on its behalf, then a tweet from @Twitter would include @Biz in the byline so that users know more about the real people behind organizations," explains Twitter’s Anamitra Banerji.
Businesses have already been finding different ways to personalize accounts. For example, the WebProNews Twitter account (feel free to follow it) utilizes "@cotags" to sign Tweets. However, this practice requires adding characters to tweets, and sometimes every character counts. If you’re trying to optimize your tweets for maximum retweeting (which can in turn drive traffic to your site), you want to leave as much space as possible for followers to add their own information.
Twitter’s new "contributors" feature should solve this problem. Businesses who regularly utilize Twitter will be anticipating the roll out of this feature. There’s no telling how long this limited beta testing will go on though.
The important thing for businesses to keep in mind is that Twitter is finally getting serious about becoming more useful to them. There are a great many ways that businesses can use Twitter and the company knows this of course. Now, however, they seem to be set to start really catering to businesses. The new "Contributors" feature is apparently only the first of an unspecified number of business features Twitter is currently working on.
"The simple features that Twitter has offered to all users has worked for business users as well," says Banerji. "As Twitter becomes more integral to businesses, they will need more business specific features from Twitter – both on the web and API. We have been working on some of these features and are ready to start a limited beta test of one that’s further along in development."
The key words there are "working on some of these features." Twitter is looking to start monetizing its own business, and catering to other businesses is bound to be a step in that direction. Ads and commercial accounts are said to be coming to Twitter soon. The commercial accounts would come with premium features, such as analytics. In fact, Twitter COO Dick Costolo recently said that multiple authors would be a part them as well, and that is exactly what they’re testing right now.
We don’t know what other features Twitter may have up its sleeve, but it will be very interesting to see what they come up with and how businesses respond. Either way, businesses are going to want to keep a close eye on what Twitter does, because it could have huge implications for key areas of how their businesses communicate online down the road.
What features would you like to see Twitter offer businesses? What would make Twitter more useful to you? Tell us here.