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The Latest Twitter News? News.

August 5th, 2016   ||    by Melanie Brown

In recent Twitter news, the social media network announced its plans to revamp its branding, and reposition the platform as a news outlet. For the last decade, Twitter has been in the upper ranks of social media networks, but a new campaign with the tagline “See what’s happening” emphasizes the power of the 140-character tweet to convey real-time news in a concise way.

An Evolutionary Shift

Twitter’s shift to news isn’t surprising. Those who adopted the network when it was still a young social media platform have matured and turned into consumers of current events. For many users, when news breaks, Twitter is the first place they turn for live updates, and to participate in the conversation. According to eMarketer, it’s this relevance that’s going to help kick-start the brand’s pivot towards the field of breaking news.

The company’s user base is noticeably lacking in Gen Z and younger millennial users. Instead of trying to compete for the attention of these potential users with networks like Instagram and Snapchat (both notably visual media over verbal), Twitter is capitalizing on the interests of their existing user base to drive growth.

Twitter news will explore live streaming video to keep its existing users engaged, as well as to draw in the younger set of users to a social media network most don’t even consider.

Niche News

Currently, Twitter has 90 percent name recognition, according to Adweek. The company’s branding revamp will re-emphasize the ability of the platform to keep its users abreast of what’s happening in the world. Much of Twitter’s value comes from the fact that it’s instantaneous and conducive to checking on-the-go. The company’s ad revenue is also up around 90 percent from mobile advertising.

When news breaks, many people are inclined to turn on the TV to find out what’s happening. But if the news is more niche than hard news, that’s not always so easy. There’s huge opportunity for the platform as well as for advertisers, in being not only the second screen, but the primary screen.

Perhaps more popular than Twitter itself is the thing it originated: the hashtag. By tagging posts with topics that users can search by, Twitter has already discovered the way to please niche audiences. The platform can easily leverage that as an opportunity for ad revenue that targets audiences with specific interests. Twitter’s online presence, outside of mobile, has the opportunity to embrace being the outlet for all news, not just worldwide, hard-hitting, breaking news.

In truth, its use hasn’t changed much over the years, but Twitter’s pivot towards news sets it apart from other social media networks, whose emphasis continues to be on sharing personal stories rather than large-scale news. It will be interesting to see how this new branding effort works both for the company’s external perception, and for its internal growth.

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