Just past its 8th birthday, Twitter’s list
of innovations keeps growing. The social media site will soon debut pop-up notifications
for all accounts, letting us know just when our witty pizza joke gets favorited. These “Web notifications” will pop up whenever
you get a direct message, a mention, a retweet, a follow, a favorite … pretty much whenever
you’re surfing your timeline. (Via Twitter) The notifications will involve built-in response
actions, but according to Twitter, you might not be able to disable them for at least a
while. As Time writes, “You may have to be on high alert for weeks — weeks!” And according to The Verge, the notifications
are “a proven method of getting users to spend more time using a social network — it’s
a move that was long overdue.” User activity on Twitter has become a growing
concern for the micro-messaging giant as it searches for a way to retain a surprisingly
absent user base. According to The Wall Street Journal, 44 percent
of almost 1 billion Twitter users have sent zero tweets and only 13 percent have sent
over 100 tweets. Among its new features, Twitter has rolled
out image previews on Timeline, conversation view for tweets and photo direct messaging
in hopes of attracting and retaining users. And even more changes could be on the way.
Twitter is rolling out a Facebook-esque profile view, modeled here by the band Weezer, and
might even list how many people viewed a certain tweet. (Via Twitter / @Weezer) And tweet views could prove controversial.
As PC Magazine writes, “We’re not quite sure if that’s meant to encourage users to post
more or discourage them … if but a handful of Twitter friends even see one’s witticisms.” But in an interview with CNBC last November,
former Twitter developer Narendra Rocherolle was optimistic about the future of the little
blue bird. “Twitter is becoming the news. It’s co-opted
everything, and it’s going to be that channel. When you talk about an information network,
it doesn’t really have any competitors now.” Twitter will gradually roll out notifications
in the coming weeks.