Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Twitter Looking To Spark Company Growth With New Image Tools

Ever since the platform’s founding in 2006, Twitter (or Twttr at the time) has been a popular form of social media throughout the world. It gained popularity quickly and became a multi-billion-dollar platform with over 100 million active users in just a few years. But, when compared to the hundreds of millions of new active users Twitter gained between 2010 and 2014, the company has been experiencing a much smaller growth rate in the last few years. Reports state that Twitter only gained about 30 million new active users between the start of 2015 and the end of 2017. It has been speculated that this struggle to increase the number of active users on the platform has been due, in part, to the its relatively complicated format. Newer social media platforms like Snapchat (created in 2011), Instagram (created in 2010), and Pinterest (created in 2010), are thought to be easier to navigate. Plus, the focus of these newer platforms is on the almost instantaneous sharing of videos, images and similar content, which is not something that can be done on Twitter. While Twitter does allow you to share pieces of content quickly, it typically takes much more time and is not as flexible and editable as other platforms. For example, once a Tweet is published on Twitter, it cannot be edited. So, if a user notices a typo or wants to add more information after publishing, they would have to completely delete the Tweet and/or create a new one. Because of this, it has been reported that Twitter is creating a new video/image centric tool based off of Snapchat’s model.
In January of 2018, reports surfaced that Twitter is creating a camera centric tool that will make it easier for users to create and navigate that kind of content. This tool is suggested to be related to the new cropping feature that the company also announced in January. According to Twitter’s announcement, the cropping feature will use machine learning to crop images in previews to better reflect the ‘salient’ features. Neural networks will be used to identify faces, text, and other image features that are most often determined to be the most important aspects of an image. In theory, this will make it easier to see the most important parts of a piece of image content without having to necessarily click into the actual Tweet. This will help with the ease and speed of use, making it a more user and content-friendly platform. Although Twitter has yet to release any further information or comments about the potential Snapchat-like tool they are developing, these new modifications to the Twitter platform could lead to a whole new user experience and spark a rise in Twitter use.
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