Twitter now looks a lot more like the world’s largest social network, with features that focus on social interaction and brand pages.
Twitter once differentiated itself as an “information network” while Facebook defined itself as the “social graph.” But just as Facebook added real-time features that make it look more like Twitter, Twitter has inched into its competitor’s turf.
In June, Twitter’s video and photo-sharing tools positioned the network to increase engagement by breaking the mold of its 140-character tweets. Meanwhile, a new “Activity Feed” was added in August to keep track of followers’ interactions with other Twitter users, and later that month it added photo galleries to every user’s profiles — it’s first step toward establishing profile pages that are more than just an aggregation of tweets.
The new public-facing Twitter profile page is not another step toward that goal, it’s a giant leap. In the company’s own communications-department-approved words, the new profile “puts you and your interests front and center.” It wants to be “your opportunity to introduce yourself to the world” and “stay close to everything you care about.” All of these objectives encroach upon Facebook’s territory.
These four new features in particular challenge Facebook’s reign as the default social site for managing online identity, keeping up with friend-recommended (and created) content and serving as brands’ social media hub.
Along with Twitter’s redesign announcement Thursday, the service has rolled out a new way to let website developers and bloggers embed tweets that give visitors the ability to reply, retweet and favorite without leaving the page.
Twitter users now can place embeddable tweets on their websites by simply using one line of code. A single-click action also lets visitors follow the creator of a tweet.
“Try it on your website by clicking ‘Embed this Tweet’ from any permalink page in the newly launched Twitter,” Twitter’s Brian Ellin said in a blog post that provides an example of an embedded tweet. “If you use WordPress or Posterous Spaces, it’s easier than ever to embed Tweets.”
Jack Dorsey is doing pretty well at the entrepreneurial game, given that he’s Executive Chairman at Twitter, CEO of mobile card payments startup Square and, well, a founder of both companies. But have you ever wondered what it would be like juggling two of the tech industry’s fastest growing companies at once? Here’s how he does it.
As CNN reports today, Dorsey has a minute-by-minute plan for pulling everything together, and by his own admission, it requires a great deal of discipline to work a 16-hour day, as he noted during a talk yesterday at the Techonomy conference in Arizona.
Rather than spreading himself thinly across all aspects of both businesses, he zones in on one key area of corporate development, pushing everything else out of sight and, well, out of mind. Here’s what his weekly calendar looks like:
Monday: Management meetings and “running the company” work
Tuesday: Product development
Wednesday: Marketing, communications and growth
Thursday: Developers and partnerships
Friday: The company and its culture
Whilst weekends are a little slower for Dorsey (he hikes on Saturdays), it’s interesting to note that his Monday-Friday routine is applicable to BOTH companies – after 8 hours at Twitter, he literally walks 2 blocks to put in another 8 hour shift at Square.
“There’s interruptions all the time, but I can quickly deal with an interruption and know ‘it’s Tuesday, I have product meetings, I have to focus on product stuff,’” said Dorsey. “It sets a good cadence for the company.”