The changing face of Twitter

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1st May 2014, 3 minute read

Twitter has many very loyal fans and, on the whole, they like it because it is different and relatively simple. So, it's not surprising that die-hard Twitter fans are generally feeling unsettled by its recently announced plans to add up to four photos per tweet and tag up to 10 people in each of those images. Surely, with more images and tagging, Twitter is becoming more and more like Facebook or Google+?

While it's always been possible to attach one image to your Twitter post, now users - initially on iPhone and ‘soon' Android and desktop users - will be able to upload four photos at once and tag up to 10 people in the photos. People that you tag will receive a notification and they can untag themselves.

Twitter fans have liked its simple nature; it is uncomplicated with unnecessary features. Now some users are saying that it's morphing into yet another social network and some have joked that games will be the next addition...

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Others are worried that the tagging feature is a step too far - because you can tag anyone. You don't need to be following the person or for them to be following you to tag them. The tagging feature doesn't eat into your 140 character limit though.

‘Tagging people in a picture makes conversations around photos fun and easy' according to Twitter - but is this a move which will ultimately affect Twitter's reputation?

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As a public company, Twitter is now accountable to its shareholders. While its users love it - the company is under pressure to increase the number of users on the platform. And, to do that, it's decided to become more social. Put simply, Twitter is aspiring to Facebook's mass appeal - but the addition of photo tagging and notifications - will no doubt start to put off some of its loyal users who don't want to see it watered down and turned into just another social media platform.

It is likely that loyal Twitter fans will be put off by these changes and, rather than looking at the other mainstream social networks, will mostly probably keep a look out for the ‘next big thing'.

Businesses will continue to be drawn to Twitter for its ability to engage directly with other businesses or potential customers. The ability to add photos and tag people probably won't change the landscape radically for them. What they risk is losing the interest and engagement of, up until now, loyal Twitter fans.

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