Tara Baboushkin | @TaraBaboushkin
Yes, it is possible. Just when you think it can’t get any better, Twitter finds a way to outdo itself. In the past month, the microblogging phenomenon that took the social media world by storm just seven short years ago, has unveiled several new and upcoming changes to enhance user experience and expand global connectivity.
One of the most exciting prospects for future change is a new local discovery feature currently being tested by Twitter employees. Although Twitter may be the go-to place to find out what’s trending around the world, it’s not as intuitive when it comes to letting people know what’s going on in their own backyards. Well, all that may be changing. During Twitter’s Hack Week last month, a new local discovery feature emerged which would enable users to discover tweets from other users within a certain distance of their own location.
The feature would detect Twitter activity and display tweets from other users based on your location, regardless of whether you follow those people or not. Relevant nearby tweets, especially those that follow a trend or a highly active related discussion, such as those in connection with a sports event or music concert, are typical examples of what you might see.
Twitter currently uses location to filter tweets in the Discover tab, and it’s not yet clear whether this new feature will remain part of the Discover tab or whether local tweets will merge directly with users’ regular timelines. Either way, Twitter continues to widen its scope and capacity to bring the world closer together.
Towards that end, Twitter also recently introduced trends in more than 160 new locations, including some first-timers such as Belgium, Greece, Kenya, Norway, Poland, Portugal, and Ukraine, in addition to over 130 new cities in countries that already have trends. Now you can discover what’s going on in your own city or across the globe, simply by clicking “Change” in the "Trends" side panel and selecting the destination you’re most interested in.
Speaking of discovery, Twitter recently unveiled its new music app, essentially a music discovery feature that utilizes Twitter activity – namely tweets and engagement – to helps users find new music as well as to highlight artists’ music-related Twitter activity.
The music on Twitter, #music, comes from three sources: iTunes, Spotify and Rdio. Users can choose from several options to search for and discover new music. The Popular tab shows new music that is trending on Twitter. The "Emerging" tab highlights hidden talent(s). The "Suggested" tab features user-specific recommendations, and #NowPlaying lists songs that have been shared by the people you follow. If you find an artist that you like, you can follow them directly from the app or you can search for artists that you like to find out what they’re listening to. You can also tweet songs directly from the app.
Twitter #music can be downloaded from the App Store and the Web version can be accessed at music.twitter.com. The app is currently available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. The company plans to expand it to more countries, as well as to Android, over time. They also intend to explore and add other sources of music.
Most recently, the company introduced a few other improvements specific to Twitter for Mac, including easier photo-sharing and retina display support. In addition, Twitter now supports 14 more languages for Mac users, including French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, German, Dutch, Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Turkish.
Given the enormous success and popularity of Twitter, the company could very well sit back and enjoy the ride. It’s nice to know that Twitter values its customers and is continuously striving to provide them with a better user experience. We’ll tweet to that.