Changes at Twitter Provide New Opportunities for Marketers

Stephen Yagielowicz

Changes at popular social networking site Twitter may provide new opportunities for adult marketers who embrace this technological platform, which unites fans, performers, producers and promoters with one another.

Social media expert Lauren McEwen of 7 Veils Media brought Twitter’s redesign to the attention of XBIZ.net’s community of adult marketing and production professionals, predicting that there would be rumbles from Twitter’s user base.

People have not been receptive of changes to their format in the past and even their most recent small change upset a lot of people, though [it] wasn’t divergent enough from the original design to cause mass outrage, this design, however, is. -Lauren McEwen

“People have not been receptive of changes to their format in the past and even their most recent small change upset a lot of people, though [it] wasn’t divergent enough from the original design to cause mass outrage,” McEwen offered. “This design, however, is.”

McEwen says Twitter’s new layout features photos more prominently and increases the size of the header image, but also removes custom backgrounds for more consistency.

Followers are now listed in a style similar to Twitter postcards, while visible tweet streams can show either original tweets or re-tweets and mentions.

“This feature was previously reserved for accounts with the blue check mark,” McEwen told XBIZ. “This means that you will be able to keep your public conversations private, or at least a [little] less obvious. They will still be searchable, but someone would have to be searching for them.”

Wondering if the new Twitter design looks too much like Facebook, McEwen asked XBIZ.net members for their opinion as to whether Twitter should move away from the vertical stream and what members thought of the new design.

She kicked off the replies by providing her personal perspective that it is a mistake.

“Having another network that looks just like G+ and Facebook is not what is needed,” McEwen explains. “We all keep asking, ‘what is the next big step in social media?’ [But] turning the big three into cookie cutters of each other is definitely not it.”

Gerald Saunders of Fitzgerald Multimedia opined that in general, the design is fine, particularly since the majority of what he posts and follows on Twitter, whether it is adult oriented or sports or news, is visual.

“On a computer monitor, laptop, or ‘pad,’ it’ll be more visually pleasing, rather than ‘just text,’ and I have seen it become gradually more that way, where photos, vines, etc. are more prominent,” Saunders says. “On mobile apps, I don’t know what they can do to match this look; but in general, I like it being more visually pleasing with images, etc.”

This increasingly visual approach can only be seen as good news for adult marketers.

Several performers, who form a prodigious user base, commented on the new design; with Ariel Rebel saying she loves it, while Sabrina Addams dislikes “the disorganized, non-vertical look of the tweets,” as well as the lack of custom backgrounds. Her positives include the way that names, profile info, avatars and headers look; with Addams favoring the option of displaying original tweets only vs. including re-tweets and mentions.

Adult Blog Writer echoed the lost background lament.

“I’m so glad I paid for a custom background only to apparently not have it soon see the light of day,” she told XBIZ.

GameLink’s Jeff Dillon notes that people are creatures of habit and usually have issues when a social media site changes its user interface, telling XBIZ that Facebook users “bitch nonstop” anytime that popular site changes things up.

Dixon Mason of Intersec Studios thinks that the changes will benefit new users most.

“I think having an interface that new users might recognize easily is cool,” Mason told XBIZ. “One of the biggest complaints I hear from people who haven’t yet adopted twitter is that they don’t ‘get’ it. So making it similar to the other big [social networks], Facebook and Google+, may help those users adopt. However, I don’t see any other benefit to the new layout besides that.”

New users mean new audiences, so perhaps having new users is enough of a benefit.

One thing that is for certain is that social media is increasingly becoming embedded into our daily lives, and that the trend is to include more images — and more video — with shorter post formats, utilized more frequently.

The lesson here is to make use of these services, but do so nimbly, so as not to lose out as the inevitable changes occur.