May 16, 2014Published by: Janey Spratt

Twitter freshens up its service

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 15.04.29

In response to all-time low user growth figures, Twitter has been busy experimenting and introducing new features. In a recent Bloomberg interview CEO Dick Costolo spoke about the future of Twitter and his aim to create a more visually engaging network while making it easier for newcomers to use.

The most recent feature announcement is the Twitter mute button which allows you to 'turn off' annoying users rather than unfollow them. This new feature is particularly valuable to those who use Twitter to network professionally and want to avoid awkward situations. But, it's also fantastic if you’re looking to silence irrelevant noise...not a Eurovision or Superbowl fan? Simply mute the over-sharers!

Costolo also hinted at a ‘whisper mode’ which would allow users to move their public conversations into a private mode. Currently Twitter only allows users to private message one-to-one, whereas this feature would enable private group conversations. If a whisper mode is introduced it will likely pose a challenge to brands looking to own specific moments on Twitter. On the other hand, it may allow brands the opportunity to communicate privately with influencers and open up new connections.

Twitter's mute button and the hint of Twitter whisper come just after Twitter rolled out new profile designs which many commented look very similar to Facebook. With the new ability to pin tweets to the top of profiles, mute content and the potential to create group messages, this feels like yet another step towards Facebook's approach.

If Twitter does introduce a whisper mode, could it pose a serious risk to Facebook's user base? After a quick poll of the Battenhall team, many of us only use Facebook to group message loved ones, to catch up and to organise social plans.

We’re interested to see how much Twitter will change and whether the Facebook similarities will result in a Hunger Games-esque show down of the two networks.

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