Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen Twitter and Facebook introduce a number of new features. Surprisingly, instead of new features that differentiate the platforms, Twitter and Facebook have introduced features that mirror one another. Twitter has recently introduced profile/brand pages, which are like Facebook’s profiles and Fan pages. Facebook has introduced Timeline and Sponsored Stories, which sound an awful lot like features currently on Twitter. Here is a rundown on the “new” Twitter and “new” Facebook.
Twitter introduced a four tab system to streamline the Twitter experience; the four tabs are home, connect, discover and a me tab. The home tab is the Twitter default page when you login. It shows basic information about your account such as your number of tweets, the number of people you are following, and your number of followers. It gives you the option to post a new tweet. Most importantly it shows the timeline of the people you follow.
The Connect tab shows a user mentions and interactions. It combines the mentions and activity tabs from old Twitter into one area. Unfortunately, this tab does not include Direct Messages, but it is useful to find out who has recently @ replied you, retweeted you, or followed you.
The Discover Tab serves as a more advanced Who To Follow screen. It suggests topics and people who you might be interested in. It is not very targeted, but it is still worth checking out.
The Me Tab is a bit confusing because it is separated from the other three tabs on the Twitter website. This tab can be used to view your profile page and find your Direct Messages. The Profile Page shows your Bio, recent tweets, and basic account information.
Twitter made it so it easier to embed tweets. If you click on a tweet and hit open tweet. It gives you the option to embed the tweet. I’m really excited about the new Hobbit movie, so I embedded my tweet with the trailer below.
The Hobbit [TRAILER] youtube.com/watch?v=_EqoCi…—
Ben Loeb (@loebben) December 21, 2011
Twitter also introduced Brand Pages. Brand Pages are similar to profile pages for average Twitter users, but they also include a banner image. This is big for Twitter because the new pages give brands more opportunities to market on Twitter and makes them more competitive with Facebook. Brands can also choose to promote a particular tweet at the top of their timeline. This means that when user search Twitter for brands the brand will be able to promote a certain tweet regardless of when it was sent out.
Additional articles on new Twitter:
Facebook has recently launched timeline, which is a cool feature that allows you to view your entire history on Facebook. People can now reminiscence and view photos, posts and likes from the past.
Facebook also introduced the new profile layout design. The new layout includes a cover picture at the top of your profile. This is a minor change and moves Facebook slightly closer to Myspace. (Beginning of the end perhaps?) I don’t think this will have any major impact on Facebook, but it’s fun to suggest that this is the beginning of the end for the reign of Facebook.
Facebook has not actually launched this feature yet, but according to PC Mag they will be rolled out gradually starting in 2012. With the introduction of sponsored stories, Facebook is moving closer to Twitter and its Promoted tweets, which appear in users timelines.