September 24, 2012
New, Interactive Twitter Features Coming Soon, Says CEO
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Interactive features such as live polls and the ability to select and publish specific messages alongside breaking news events are some of the new features coming soon to Twitter, the social network's chief executive announced on Friday.
Speaking at the Online News Association conference in San Francisco, California, late last week, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said that the microblogging website would be releasing a free tool that would allow members to select and publish specific types of tweets, according to Reuters reporter Gerry Shih.
The soon to be released tool "will allow users, including journalists, to manually curate and display tweets to accompany breaking news events," Shih said. He added that users would also soon see "tweet boxes, known as cards, include live features that will look nothing like the 140-character messages units that they evolved in the early days of the service. Costolo offered up examples of interactive features, such as live polls“¦ showing real-time results directly within a tweet box."
No specific timetable for these new features was announced, but Costolo did state that another highly sought-after feature -- the ability for a Twitter member to download the complete archive of his or her posts on the social network -- would most likely be made available before year's end.
Costolo also defended his company's decision to make posts accessible only through the Twitter website or official app, saying that he was "a huge believer in syndication" but that the decision to cut those services was made after the company, in Shih's words, "realized it had invested significant resources in its service, but other companies were making money off of it " without adding anything of value themselves.
"The company has promised to unlock Twitter's full interactive potential once it has regained control over how users access Twitter across desktop computers and mobile devices," the Reuters reporter added.
Earlier this month, Twitter announced a feature that allowed members of the media -- and any Twitter user, for that matter -- to create an embeddable, interactive, and customizable timeline of tweets based on account, search query, hashtag, or one of several other filters, as TechCrunch's Anthony Ha reported on September 5.
The new feature allows individuals to "follow a user, reply, retweet, favorite a tweet, or even view photos directly from the timeline," Ha said. "It sounds like the goal is to bring a big piece of Twitter´s functionality into these timelines“¦ This should be a pretty attractive option for publishers, because it allows them to draw attention to their social networking presence, and to bring fresh content to the site, without necessarily driving readers elsewhere."