It’s no secret that I’ve been critical of the way that Twitter has marketed itself to date. Want to know why most people aren’t interested in Twitter? It’s because they don’t think people will want to know that they just ate soup. No joke, that used to be one of the status update examples Twitter used on their website to encourage sign up. Technology geniuses, yes. Marketing wizards, no.
Now they’ve redesigned their homepage and its a baby-step in the right direction (so far its only their homepage — when they update the rest of the site I’ll upgrade them to an adult-step). The new design has the line, “Share and discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world“. I love that line so much more that “tell the world what you’re doing”. And they’ve added search to their homepage, which to me is incredibly critical.
The secret sauce of Twitter is their search. When I speak to marketers about Twitter, as I did yesterday to a great group in Austin, TX (thanks Jenny for the pic from the event!), I find that most people weren’t really aware of the real-time search engine that Twitter has created. Truth be told, when I start talking about Twitter ushering us into the new world of the Real Time Web, my excitement perhaps goes a little overboard. I think this because someone in the presentation yesterday sarcastically commented, “It’s like the invention of the microwave!”. She was kidding, but I kinda like the analogy ;)
Starting people off by educating them on the possibilities of real-time search will drastically improve the retention rates that have plagued Twitter thus far in its growth (still its the #1 growing social network, however). People will start their experience with Twitter seeing immediate benefits rather than feeling like they already use Facebook for status updates (Twitter is VERY different than Facebook, if you disagree let’s talk).
So, well done Twitter, keep the forward progress going. Now if you could just stop the spammer-guys that constantly follow/unfollow me in order to get my attention, you’d be on a roll.