March 21st 2006 may not be a date which sticks in many people’s minds; however it’s a date when the face of social media marketing began to change as this was the date that Twitter launched, with its founder, Jack Dorsey sending the first tweet.
Like many first tweets, Jack Dorsey’s wasn’t one to set the world alight, instead he posted a simple message: “just setting up my twttr” – notice how the “i” and “e” are missing? These weren’t introduced into the name until later down the line.
As Twitter celebrates its eighth year, instead of taking a look back on the eight years and how the platform has changed the world of social media marketing, we’re going to look forward to what the next few years of Twitter will bring.
The hashtag has become synonymous with Twitter, and as we mentioned in our blog this time last year (when looking back at the then, 7 years of Twitter) has become a common feature in written language and marketing.
However, we also mentioned in our blog a year ago that the hashtag supposedly wasn’t an original tool of Twitter, instead was introduced by Twitter users, being used for the first time at a global technology conference, in an attempt to bundle tweets together – this was back in August 2007.
Now, based on a recent press conference provided by Twitter’s Head of News it looks like Twitter could be one of two common functions, which could be removed over the coming months / years.
According to the Head of News at Twitter, the hashtag along with the @-reply function has become “arcane”, leading to the site looking at a way to hide it whilst retaining functionality.
The comments by Twitter’s Head of News echo those of the micro-blogging’s Chief Executive, who also suggested they were looking at minimising the visibility of the site’s “scaffolding”.
As mentioned in our last blog, Twitter is a numbers game, and as such it is likely that from time to time you will miss updates from those people who lighten up your timeline or share relevant information relating to your industry sector.
However, another test being conducted by Twitter could make missing tweets from your “favourite people” a thing of the past going forward; as it has been reported that the site is looking at introducing a “favourite people” option.
Working in a similar way to “lists”, the “Favourite People” option will enable users to see tweets of people they have selected to feature in a separate timeline; whilst they’ll also be able to receive notifications when their “favourite people” tweet.
Whether either the introduction of “favourite people” takes place on a large scale, or the removal of the hashtag goes ahead; one thing is for sure – as Twitter turns eight, the platform is looking ahead to enhance the user experience in both the short and long term.
And as a side thought, our first ever tweet – although not sent eight years ago – can be found below, and by visiting https://discover.twitter.com/first-tweet you can find yours.