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Twitter is introducing a new way to tweet using just your voice – called simply Voice Tweets.

The company announced this week that voice tweets will soon be among the many different ways you can tweet, such as using photos, videos, and regular text. 

“Over the years, photos, videos, gifs, and extra characters have allowed you to add your own flair and personality to your conversations. But sometimes 280 characters aren’t enough and some conversational nuances are lost in translation.

So starting today, we’re testing a new feature that will add a more human touch to the way we use Twitter – your very own voice.”

To start, the feature is limited to a small number of people using the Twitter app on iOS devices, though it will be rolling out to all iOS devices in the coming weeks.

While those with Android devices and those on desktop computers are left out of being able to create voice tweets for now, everyone can still see and listen to voice tweets that appear in their feed.

How To Post a Voice Tweet

If you have been given access to voice tweets, you will notice a small icon resembling an audio wavelength next to the camera icon when composing a tweet. 

If you tap that icon, you will be presented with a screen showing your profile photo and a record button. Just tap that button to get started recording. 

Voice tweets are limited to 140 seconds of audio in each clip, though the company mentioned that you can keep talking and have your audio automatically split into a thread of multiple voice tweets. 

Once shared, your voice tweet will appear in other people’s feeds with a tappable image that will begin playing your audio in a docked window at the bottom of the screen. 

There’s a lot that can be left unsaid or uninterpreted using text, so we hope voice Tweeting will create a more human experience for listeners and storytellers alike.

Whether it’s #storytime about your encounter with wild geese in your neighborhood, a journalist sharing breaking news, or a first-hand account from a protest, we hope voice Tweeting gives you the ability to share your perspectives quickly and easily with your voice.”

Source: Shawn Campbell

Source: Shawn Campbell

Twitter is calling its latest new feature an improvement to their timeline, but many users disagree. The new Improved is an algorithm-based feature which uses data collected from a user’s previous activity on Twitter to show them the tweets that are of most interest to them at the top of their timeline.

The goal, according to Twitter, is to make sure users see all the most “important” tweets for them as soon as they log in. Directly below this section of most important tweets, users will find the traditional reverse-chronological timeline they’ve come to know and love.

While Twitter is hailing the new feature as a move forward, the social media site has been in open rebellion since rumors of the feature started swirling over the weekend. The site saw #RIPTwitter trending as many said the site was losing what made it special in order to be more like Facebook.

The furor over the changes has quieted down somewhat as the company shared more details about the new feature, including its opt-in nature and somewhat non-intrusive design.

This isn’t the first controversial rumored feature from Twitter in recent weeks. The platform faced similar freak-outs when word got out that it was testing significantly longer tweets than the traditional 140-character limit.

That feature has yet to be put into effect, but Twitter is trying hard to walk a very thin tight-rope. The purpose of these new features is to attract new users to the stagnating service. However, losing Twitter’s existing audience in the process may set the company back even further.

Source: Shawn Campbell

Source: Shawn Campbell

Rumor has it that Twitter will be extending the character limit of Tweets from 140 characters to upwards of 10,000 characters. The news comes from a report in Recode, which cites multiple sources claiming the longer tweets should be expected by the end of the quarter, but public reaction is mixed at best.

Descriptions of the new feature say the longer tweets wouldn’t clutter up feeds. Instead, up to 140 characters of any tweet will appear in user’s timelines, but a new call to action would allow users to read more.

The sources also say the company is already planning for how users might attempt to spam timelines so they might be able to combat it. For example, there may be limits to the number of other users that can be mentioned in tweets.

Unfortunately for the company, response to the rumor has already been overwhelmingly negative. Many say the 140 character limit has been the defining feature of Twitter and without it there is little to distinguish the platform.

The hashtag #Twitter10k has already taken off as users both mock and lament the rumor. Here is just a sampling of what users are saying:

Given the reaction to the rumor, it is hard to predict whether Twitter will follow through or go back to the drawing board for the next big feature. The best indication will be if we start seeing tests for different character lengths in tweets in the coming month.

Nasa Twitter

After months of fluttering in and out of Google’s search results as a set of experiments, Twitter is officially a part of the desktop SERPs. Google officially announced the news on Twitter and in an updated post on the Google blog, saying they have expanded displaying Twitter content in the Google desktop search results.

Tweets have been a part of mobile results since May, but the announcement officially brings them to desktop searches as well.

The update is started rolling out to all English users around the globe. Once implemented, Google will show Tweets in a carousel in the main column of the organic search results, but only when Google finds them relevant. Users do not need a Twitter account to see the Tweets in their SERPs or click on the results.

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Many are already reporting seeing the Tweets within their results, but it is unclear how long the full roll-out will take.

Source: Shawn Campbell

Source: Shawn Campbell

It is no secret that nearly every big brand is on Twitter these days, and plenty of smaller businesses are learning to take advantage of the platform every day. But, there are plenty of ways you can mess up when trying to connect with your audience on one of the largest social media platforms around. As a new study on how top brands use Twitter shows, the biggest mistake you can make is simply neglecting your account.

The study from social media analytics firm Simply Measured showed that 92 percent of brands are tweeting an average of 12 times a day, and 98 percent of the top brands in today’s market are regularly active on Twitter.

In fact, consumers seem to be downright eager to follow brands on Twitter, as audiences for the top brands have grew by 20 percent in the last quarter of 2013. Over half of the brands have more than 100,000 followers each.

Of course, it doesn’t matter how often you tweet if you aren’t sharing things that excite the community and encourage engagement. As Marketing Land notes, the tweets with photos or links are more likely to receive activity than the traditional 140 character updates. But, it might be a surprise to see just how much better they perform. Simply Measured says tweets with photos or links see 150 percent more engagement than the brand averages.

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Images see even more engagement than links by a large amount, with an average of 210 engagements per tweet. That absolutely dwarfs the 27 engagements on average for a bit.ly link.

You can download the full report from Simply Measured’s website.

Think you can get away with not responding to tweets directed at your brand’s Twitter account? It shouldn’t come as a surprise that ignoring those tweets or even putting off responding, can be terribly damaging to your brand. Social media users have come to expect brand interaction, and Lithium Technologies has released findings that say more than 70 percent of Twitter users have come to expect a response from any brand they’re interacting with. On top of that, 53 percent expect that response within the hour.

Twitter users expect responses even more when they are complaining to a brand. When users are upset, 72 percent think it is reasonable to expect a response within the hour. On the other hand, responses are less expected when users are giving positive feedback or comments.

If you’re dealing with complaints, putting off responding can quickly turn damaging. Over half of the respondents said they would begin to create negative consequences such as telling their friends about their bad experience and expressing concerns through even more channels. One complaint on Twitter can turn into terrible word of mouth rather quickly.

Search Engine Watch has more details from the survey, but it is fairly clear that Twitter users expect interaction, and you’re hurting yourself by not engaging them back.