Home Twitter Joins Facebook, Google+ and Foursquare With New Brand Pages

Twitter Joins Facebook, Google+ and Foursquare With New Brand Pages

Today Twitter rolled out a new user interface that radically changes the @ messages, hashtags, profiles and the homescreen. In addition to these user-focused updates, Twitter also launched its own form of brand pages.

Google+ introduced brand pages in November, positioning itself as a competitor to the more established Facebook Pages.

A few months ago, Foursquare changed its brand pages so that the user only needed a Twitter account in order to authorize it. After that, Foursquare’s brand pages employed a more Twitter-esque, one-way-follow type mechanism. This one-way follow technique makes sense for Twitter’s new brand pages.

Unlike Facebook Pages, which users have to “Like” if they want to see all of the information, Twitter brand pages are completely public. Brands that already have Twitter accounts make all information public, too, meaning no one has to actually follow. This sort of “zero commitment” approach makes Twitter the perfect space for brands that want to have a presence.

Twitter also hasn’t gotten into the sort of privacy skirmishes that plague Facebook. It gives users only two privacy options: Public, meaning all on Twitter can see your tweets, or Private (complete with a little lock) so that only user-approved Twitterers can follow that user’s tweets.

Twitter brand pages include an 835×90 header image, which can include an image, tagline or other visual branding. Brands can also promote tweets within the page, an any promoted tweet that includes a video or photo from a partner provider (most major photo and video sharing sites) will automatically expand in the stream. That subtle aspect differentiates Twitter brand pages from Facebook brand pages. On Facebook, images and videos are a given, which at times can make the social network feel visually overwhelming. Twitter is still more focused on text and fast information delivery through the homepage stream and the lists feature.

Twitter’s New Target Market: Publishers, Brands and Marketers?

With the integration of frictionless sharing, social news apps, Spotify and the eventual Timeline rollout, Facebook is transforming into a media consumption platform.

Naturally, Twitter is following suit.

Luckily for Twitter, brands with accounts already feel less intrusive than brands on Facebook or Google+. From the get-go, Facebook felt like a space for “you and your friends.” No wonder Facebook users are constantly pissed off about seeing ads pop up in places like the news ticker. Google+ users, on the other hand, have come to expect ads because of Gmail’s ubiquitous keyword-targeted ads. Foursquare users buy into location-based rewards and the deal-finding Explore tab, making advertising feel less intrusive and actually somewhat welcomed.

Twitter never tried to be your friend. It was always focused around interests – and that’s why brand pages will fit quite seamlessly into the new interface.

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