Over the past two years, Twitter has struggled to grow its user base.

Some say the once-revolutionary social media platform has been resting on its laurels, remaining stagnant in its offerings. But 2017 has seen an upswing for the social giant both in user growth and revenue. This may be due to some of the great new features added to the platform.

Here are 8 new Twitter features designed to improve user experience.

Safety first

It’s common to hear horror stories from users who have been attacked on Twitter with little to no ability to report or stop the abusive behavior. In November 2016, Twitter realized it had to give its users more control over what they see in their feeds, and make it easier to report harassment.

Earlier this year, Twitter announced significant changes designed to curb this behaviour: stopping the creation of new abusive accounts, safer search results, and deleting potentially abusive tweets.

More characters in reply

You may have already noticed that one of Twitter’s oldest features, the “at-reply” or “@reply”, has now changed to simply “reply”. Modest as it is, the change has an added bonus: those handles you are replying to will no longer count against the 140-character limit of your tweet. Now, those user names appear in blue above the reply itself. Freedom.

Request and share locations

This feature is especially beneficial for businesses. It enhances the customer experience significantly by helping them find a location close to where they are.

But have no fear — users have complete control over the information they share and can ignore requests to disclose their location.

Safer DMs

This feature allows users to chat directly within the platform, and provides an option to either approve or deny a request to connect and even report an inappropriate message. Users can identify abusive content and choose whether they want to engage or not. It also saves having to tweet back and forth with another user — just send them a DM and they will approve or deny the message.

Nice and tidy.

Twitter Lite

In April this year, Twitter rolled out Twitter Lite, a new mobile web experience which a) minimizes data usage, b) loads quickly on slower connections, c) can withstand unreliable mobile networks, and d) takes up less than 1MB on your device. With up to 30 percent faster launch times and quicker navigation throughout Twitter, Twitter Lite provides the key features of Twitter but makes the platform more accessible to millions of people that have a smartphone or a tablet and a wifi connection.

Moments

Although Moments has been available to select users since 2015, Twitter has opened it up to everyone, enabling these influencers, partners, and brands to create more Moments for our pleasure. (Okay, this feature isn’t all that new, but it’s still a goodie.)

Images don’t count

You’ve got the perfect tweet. 140 characters. Bingo. Now just to add your photo and…goddamnit! In the past, media links would take count for approximately 23 characters, a huge chunk of your message. We all know that images get your tweet action (18% more clickthroughs and 150% more retweets) so being able to include them, without leaving out important content, is imperative.

Fortunately, media no longer counts against your 140-character count. So go nuts.

Live video

Goodbye Vine (and maybe Periscope soon). Hello live video!

A recent Hubspot blog suggests that marketers who use video grow revenue 49 percent faster than non-video users, so it’s no wonder Twitter launched its own in-app live video streaming and recording function. This new functionality eliminates the need to live-stream within the Periscope app. Now, users can tweet live video directly from the Twitter app. This function is still powered by Periscope, but predictors suggest that may not be the case for much longer, and Periscope may shortly follow Vine to the cutting room floor.

Good features? Bad features? Red features? Blue features? Let us know what you think of the new Twitter features.

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Whitney Zelmer

Whitney Zelmer

Whitney Zelmer is a content marketer and events coordinator. In her free time, she is an encaustic/mixed media artist.

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