News Update: A Little Birdie Told Us...

Phillip Sternitzke | @PSpepper

The world of social media is constantly changing, and when something big happens, it shakes up the whole industry. When it comes to Twitter, one of the biggest recent news stories is a possible merger with Yahoo. Popular for news, finance, e-mail, and its search engine, Yahoo is also the current owner of other popular Internet properties such as Tumblr and Flickr. Even though the site has seen a decline in use over the years, with the rise of Internet juggernaut Google, it still ranks number five on Alexa Internet, Inc.’s “Top 500 sites on the web.”

Despite the sites immense popularity and high rate of traffic, Yahoo has been operating at a loss for some time now while various companies have put in a bid. One business that threw their hat in the ring was Twitter , with executives of both companies meeting to talk details. While the bidding war is still going, reports say that Twitter has dropped out, with the current top bidder being Verizon.

Twitter is currently testing out a new feature for their app. Utilizing their live-streaming property Periscope, they are beta testing a button directly on the page where you compose a tweet. No official date has been revealed for a wide rollout, but all users could possibly see this feature sooner rather than later. With constant evolutions in video technology rolling out non-stop, one of the latest fads taking the internet by storm would have to be 360-degree video. While this tech is still in its infancy, it opens up a variety of unique filmmaking options; and Twitter seems to be putting some stock into this new video option. While Twitter does not directly support 360 video, you can now click links on Twitter and be directed to a new page where you can view the videos.

Yet of all the recent news involving Twitter, the biggest are the new features users have been waiting years for. Pictures, videos, GIFs, and polls no longer count toward characters within your tweet. You will also now be able to retweet your own tweets. And when replying to a tweet, @names will no longer count toward the character limit. While small, these changes and tweaks are welcome changes to one of the most used social media platforms in the world. You may not be able to rant in one long post like Facebook or Instagram, but these updates make Twitter a bit more convenient for its users.

The last noteworthy piece of Twitter news would have to be the hacking of the most followed account on the site - that belonging to the one and only Katy Perry. After being taken over, the perpetrator posted several racist tweets, and even called out Taylor Swift in the process. Thankfully, Perry has since regained her Twitter.

Just a few days later, Kylie Jenner was also hacked by who appears to be the same perp. The hacker posted several lewd and “offensive” tweets before the account was returned to Jenner's hands. Twitter is looking into these hacks, but as past evidence has shown, it can be difficult to find those responsible.


Hungry for more Twitter news? Stay tuned on SMD's blog.