Tis a mobile world we live in, one filled with apps that are, more often than not, updated frequently and a degree or two separated from their Web-based counterpart's design (should such a counterpart exist, that is). Such has been the case with Twitter up until today, with a simple announcement being fired off this afternoon ushering in a new Web design reminiscent of its latest mobile offerings.
The fourth annual rankings of the use of social media among world leaders has been published by the Digital Policy Council. The report looks at the number of world leaders that are using the social network Twitter to spread their agendas to the world. According to the report, about 80% of all world leaders are using twitter.
Twitter is working on an edit feature. Meaning you could soon be able to edit your tweets -- with some caveats. You won't be able to write a tweet, publish it, wait a few hours, and then replace the content of the tweet with entirely different and unrelated content. Twitter is still working out the details of what you can and can't do in edit mode, but the feature is on the horizon.
Twitter is rolling out a new advertising option for mobile devices. Advertisers will now be able to send a tweet into mobile Twitter app users' timelines with a "Promoted" tag and follow button appearing below the tweet. The option has been in beta testing mode for some time now, and today the company is extending it to all advertisers.
Twitter's decision to make an abrupt about-face on blocking policy after user outcry has highlighted little-understood shortcomings in how social services handle privacy and bullying, sending the 140-character message service back to the drawing board to refine its procedure. Twitter had thought it was improving the relatively blunt blocking process users were offered when it quietly changed the system on Thursday morning; by the evening, however, the company had been forced to restore the old approach, following criticisms that the amended tools in fact victimized those affected by bullying, rather than the bullies themselves. Meanwhile, the turnaround raises questions around the blocking and privacy tools other popular social networks offer their users.
As with any social network on the internet, a fair amount of trolling and harassment goes on with Twitter. One of the only ways to stop a troll's harassment on social networks is to block that user from being able to follow your account. Traditionally blocking a person on Twitter meant that they could no longer see tweets or interact with the accounts that blocked them.
Twitter has added support for private image sharing via direct message, in an update to the 140-character messaging service that also sees new, swipeable timelines in the mobile apps. The update, which is released for both the iOS and Android versions of the Twitter app, also brings direct messages further out into the open, adding a new tab in the navigation bar for the private communications.
As with many tech companies, Twitter has been caught up in the government spying fallout, and has taken steps to protect its users' data, the latest of which was an announcement on the company's blog this evening: forward secrecy. With forward secrecy, Twitter has essentially enabled a contingency plan against the possibility of some agency recording encrypted traffic and at some point in the future decrypting it with Twitter's private keys.
In June, word surfaced that Twitter was working on location-based advertisements, something that would accompany keyword targeting and give advertisers more overall options. Today the microblogging website announced more good news for those advertising on the service -- increased mobile targeting options based on devices, mobile operating system, and Wi-Fi connectivity. There's also granular reporting analytics tossed into the mix.