San Francisco, California–Ahead of its pending IPO, the Twitter feed now features photo and video previews. Beginning on Tuesday, the microblogging site, which built its network on 140 characters, started rolling out the new interactive feature.
Borrowing a page from its competition and perhaps trying to lure more of the younger demographic fixated on Instagram and Snapchat, the fast-paced brevity information hub is likely looking to capture a larger market share before its goes public. Visual elements are increasingly important to users, and sites like Google+ have capitalized on giving its best experience.
The Twitter Feed Evolution
The new photo and video previews appearing in the Twitter feed are not the improvements the social network has made lately. In August, the platform began to group conversations, to make it easier to follow specific topics, and back-and-forth interactions between users.
“We want to make it easier for everyone to experience those moments on Twitter. That’s why starting today, timelines on Twitter will be more visual and more engaging: previews of Twitter photos and videos from Vine will be front and center in Tweets. To see more of the photo or play the video, just tap,” the company wrote in a blog post on its site.
However, the microblog doesn’t leave users without the option to turn off the feature, at least on its mobile interface. By accessing the settings on the mobile app, users can freely turn off the previews, but this doesn’t yet appear to be the case for desktop.
Looking Toward the Future and the Competition
Like Facebook and Google Plus, Twitter faces its own obstacles, which include a big one that others have successfully overcome: revenue streams. The social network is having difficulty turning a profit, losing $67 million in the first half of 2013 alone.
Twitter has impressive figures with 232 million users who checked the service at least once a month through Q3 of this year, which up just 6.4 percent from the Q2, and an increase of 39 percent from the same period in 2012.
Notwithstanding, to be lucrative to advertisers and to stay in the game, the microblog will have to revisit its possible revenue channels.