Is the Death of the Hashtag Scandalous?
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…
It hasn’t been long since Facebook wove hashtags and tagged mentions into its social platform. Now? It’s Twitter’s turn for a notable update. Perhaps the “Twitbook” jokes will start to hit a little closer to home for both services now.
Twitter announced its profile redesign this week, promising a “whole new you.” Interestingly, this whole new me looks quite familiar. The redesign bears a striking resemblance to Facebook’s three-column design. New users will immediately see the change, and existing users will receive their new look in the coming weeks.
PR gurus, take note of the following updates:
- Users’ web profiles will now include a larger avatar profile photo;
- Web profiles will also now include customized headers – with a photo (think Facebook or Google+ cover photos);
- The font size of tweets that receive the most engagement will in users’ feeds, making notable content easy to find;
- A user can now pin a Tweet to the top of his or her profile page (similar to the pinned post feature on Facebook); and
- Filtered timelines – Tweets, Tweets with photos/videos or Tweets and replies – are available.
Lately, Twitter has been making an appearance in headlines for its efforts to increase its accessibility to new users. This profile redesign is clearly a step toward doing so. Get a glimpse of the changes by checking out these already redesigned profiles: @flotus, @kerrywashington, @zacefron or @channingtatum.
There have been other moves toward making Twitter more accessible as well. First, Twitter has begun to introduce a metric of post views to each Tweet in order to increase engagement and measurement. Second, the Favorite, Retweet and Follow buttons were made more prominent in the recent mobile app update, a change that has increased interactions by more than 35 percent. Lastly – and most controversial – Twitter reps have hinted that the company may phase out its infamous @-handle replies and #hashtags.
What do you think about Twitter’s new look? What – if any – implications will it have for clients’ PR or branding? Are you ready for the death of the #hashtag?