The two new features being introduced by Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) are aimed at making it easier for users to discover content easily about places and products they like.
The first feature called Product and Place pages reveals that Twitter is trying its hands on e-commerce this time. According to a post written by Amaryllis Fox- product manager, these pages will feature images, videos and description about a product along with its price, option to buy or a link to the seller’s website.
Vendors may either sell items directly on Twitter or create a back-link to their own websites. These pages are free to build and Twitter usually does not charge a commission on the sale made through its platform. However, retailers can pay to promote them. The products that will appear on the user’s timeline will be timely and relevant to the accounts followed by the user, previous tweets, news updates or popularity. The post says that Twitter is beginning with a few products and places.
The second feature is all about Product and Place collections. Rich collections can be browsed from eminent influencers. This product features Pinterest-like hubs and collections.
Twitter has begun with curators sharing their favorite collections of places and things. Some of the launch partners who have already shared their collections include brands like Nike, Hallmark, TechCrunch and celebrities like Demi Lovato and Amanda Palmer among 40 others. The list will increase in the coming future. Users can view their profiles on updated versions of Twitter apps and on the web. On iOS, the space below the search bar bears the category based menu from which collections can be viewed for different categories.
Project ‘Lightning’ – the name given to a major upcoming feature is being called a ‘bold change’ by Kevin Weil, who runs the product for Twitter. This project is aimed to give a new direction to the company and it will launch later this year. It will bring together event based curated content with photos and videos and ability to embed the experiences across the web and apps. There will be a new button in the middle of the Home row on the Twitter app which will lead to various events happening across the world and tweets about the same. These will include ongoing as well as prescheduled events ranging from football matches to award functions. Videos will play instantly and users can simply scroll and view the events one by one, photos and videos of which will take up the entire screen. The most recent or ongoing event will be shown with a lightning bolt icon.
These changes are being brought after early investor Sacca criticized Twitter of not bringing dramatic product changes. As Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo announced his resignation last week, he has ensured the continuation of product innovation and attraction of new users. The company also aims at enhancing existing customers’ experiences on this platform, making the social networking service more visual and hand-curated.
With 302 million active users as of May 2015, the company wishes to convert the remaining 198 million users to active ones and attract even more by introducing bold and dramatic changes. In the coming months, Twitter plans to prevent user growth stagnation by offering the ‘Lightning’ feature even to people who do not have a user account. The company aims to make the experienced more relevant, rich and personalized by means of the two product features introduced.