Twitter announced today that it has added a new feature to its popular social media platform allowing its 241 million active users to tag their friends and fellow users in photographs uploaded to the service. Additionally, the platform has added a collage function, giving users the ability to post up to four photos in a single tweet. That being said, the little bluebird hasn’t adjusted its classic 140-character limit on tweets, meaning tweeters will have to get creative if they want to tag friends and add a message in a single go.
Will the New Feature Help Twitter Compete Better with Facebook?
The move comes as Twitter continues its guerrilla war against social media behemoth Facebook. The two have been trading blows for some time, the most recent of which was Facebook adding a trending news function, a clear rip-off of one of the things that makes Twitter popular to begin with. It’s a strange competition, especially considering that Facebook has 1.4 billion users to Twitter’s 241 million. Further, Twitter is expected to earn $1 billion this year in ad revenue, a tenth of what Zuckerberg’s machine is expected to draw.
While the full effect of Twitter adding image tagging, a feature Facebook users have enjoyed for years, is anyone’s guess, smart money says that the move will do little to force a chink in Facebook’s armor. There will be no exodus, but there may be a few stragglers here and there who think the new functionality is enough to jump ship.
However, It Will Improve Twitter’s Dominance of the Journalism Sphere
Facebook has been trying to harness Twitter’s ability to deliver news to the masses for years, hence the aforementioned trending news functionality. However, no matter what Zuckerberg and the gang do, they’ve had little success knocking the bluebird from its lofty perch.
“Tagging in the redesigned Twitter app for Android and IOS is a plus for the network,” says Richelle Anderson, owner of Lighthouse Web Designs. “This will give the social network an even greater opportunity to allow its followers to connect and share their lives. Since more businesses use Twitter as their business name, they will need to be aware and adjust their privacy settings to protect their name.”
What makes Twitter so powerful in the journalism sphere is that it’s not just typical web users that love the service for its ability to syndicate news in real-time. Journalists across the world mark Twitter as their chosen service for gathering and disseminating news. At last blush, 59% of journalists around the globe use the service in a professional capacity. While the ability to tag images and send them out more efficiently might not do much for growing Twitter’s user-base, it certainly has the potential to strengthen the service’s hold over journalists, especially those who like to incorporate imagery in their stories.