Since Twitter is going public, everything that it does has to be seen in that context. Because every single decision it makes could have an impact on its eventual IPO price.
So, with increased engagement in mind, Twitter has made its latest move: to start rolling out a new feature to certain users that allows them to see related tweets.
It works exactly like it sounds: it provides a box underneath a tweet that will produce other tweets that correspond with similar words and links in that tweet. If the feature sounds familiar that it because it is very similar to another feature recently introduced by Twitter, called "related headlines," which did the same thing, except link articles in which that tweet had been embedded.
Both related headlines and related tweets share the ultimate goal of increasing engagement on the site. In the case of the former, the idea was to encourage journalists and bloggers to embed tweets more often. For the later it simply is making it easier to engage with both those who the user does, and does not, follow.
As TheNextWeb, who first spotted the feature on Wednesday, pointed out, sometimes those who have the feature sometimes see tweets from those that they were already following, and sometimes just tweets that shared similar keywords. I seem to have the feature, but only on some tweets, and it typically seems to be from users I am not following. So it is unclear at the moment if the point is to get users to follow new people or to get them to engage more with those they are already following. Most likely it is a mix of both.
The related tweets feature seems to be part of Twitter's so-called "experiments," which it explained in a recent blog post.
"A common thread across recent releases has been experimentation. We’ve tested various features with small groups of our 200 million users before determining what we’ll release. These tests are essential to delivering the best possible user experience," Twitter wrote.
Twitter also acknowledged that some of these features will never actually see the light of day.
"Ultimately, our goal is to learn and keep making the product better; we aren’t necessarily looking to launch all of the experiments we roll out," the company said.
Related tweets, though, seems like a pretty basic idea and one that Twitter would likely decide to eventually make available to all users. VatorNews has reached out to Twitter to find out if there are any further plans for a rollout of this feature, and we will update if we learn more.
Higher revenue and users
Twitter may have filed to go public confidentially, but that will only last so long before the public scrunity begins. That is why the company is trying to increase its engagement levels; and that is also why it has been attempting to do the same for its revenue and its userbase.
Twitter has been trying to prove that it can drive off line sales through Tweets. A study conducted by Datalogix, through a partnership with Twitter, found that Twitter users who engaged with a Promoted Tweets caused a 12% sales lift.
It also premiered tv ad targeting software in beta mode in May, and recently expanded it to to all U.S. advertisers that run national television spots.
As for its attempt to increase its userbase, it was reported earlier this week that Twitter is going to revamp its iOS app to put a bigger emphasis on multimedia, including photos, videos and television-related tweets.
With the intense scrutiny of an IPO looming, Twitter obviously wants to do all it can to present its best case to investors. So expect more stories to come out that point to the company increasing revenue, engagement and users in the weeks to come.
(Image source: https://twitter.com)