Twitter has announced that it will be rolling out a new, faster design with a few enhanced features and expansions. The design should be available to all users within the next few weeks.

Highlights include:

  • Profile information is now on the left.
  • Click the new 'Connect' button on the menu to see all '@' mentions, retweets, replies, new followers, etc.
  • Click the 'Discover' button on the menu to obtain results based on your interests as interpreted by your Twitter activity.
  • Embedded photos & video.
  • Expandable tweet information shows replies & retweets to any tweet in your feed.
  • The new 'Me' section allows for a more detailed bio.

Tracking all '@' mentions is useful for managing your brand and providing customer service. You will be immediately aware of all that is being addressed to you, from pet parent complaints to testimonials.

The 'Me' section will provide a broader snapshot of your company, including your Twitter Lists, Favorites and so on. This can be used for branding, enhancing credibility and establishing expertise.

Embedding video and pictures in the expandable tweet feature will intrigue and grab attention. The ability to view replies might be the most useful expandable feature, though. For example, if a customer tweets a complaint about your cat treats, you will be able to easily follow any conversation it inspires and address those additional comments. In an industry where consumer concerns spread like wildfire online, this feature can allow you to put out a spark instead of a flame.

Details of the conceptual redesign are provided on the Twitter website.

There is definitely a competitive trend amongst the top social media networks, in which they're almost trading features back and forth. The trend was seemingly inspired by the launch of Google+. It's interesting to see how they integrate these features and give them unique twists to suit their network. It can only result in more functionality and improved experiences for both consumers and businesses.

Make sure your team stays on top of social network changes so they can come up with innovative ways to connect with pet parents before your competition does. Marketing and PR online is fast-paced -- remaining one step ahead is the only way to win the race.