All those pictures you’ve been posting to Twitter using third-party apps, such as Instagram or TwitPic, will appear on your Twitter profile starting Monday.
According to the announcement, the galleries will automatically display the 100 most recent images that a given user has shared through Twitter, pulling images from as far back as January 2010.
You can display the new galleries either in a grid view or as a list, which shows when each image was shared along with the accompanying tweet.
For now, you’ll still have to use one of these third-party apps to snap a photo and instantly tweet it. Yet, Twitter’s push to become more image-centric could have huge implications on businesses’ communication strategies across the platform. Image sharing–now common but by no means ubiquitous–could spark a serious shift in the way the platform is used now that you’ll be able to scan a user’s image history alongside their tweets.
Image galleries could become much more than an afterthought for Twitter, and this could have huge implications for the way your business uses it.
Does your company tweet images? If not, get started. The good news is that you can use any of the third-party image apps, and when Twitter rolls out its new service, they’ll aggregate and display whatever you’ve shared so far.
Snapping a pic of every product your company offers and pushing it onto your followers is a good way to get unfollowed. (Fortunately, you can delete archived images in the new galleries.)
Use high-quality pictures.
This doesn’t mean you need high-resolution photos (smartphone pics are okay), but share images of your business, employees, or products that you would be proud showing off to anyone, because they’ll now all be archived on your profile.
Because many business owners have limited time to spend on social media sites, there is a tendency to share, but not respond. This is a wasted opportunity. Even for business owners with limited time, responding to inquiries or concerns is a powerful way to strengthen existing relationships and broaden your appeal. Snapping a picture to address concerns or answer questions about your products will demonstrate that you’re willing to make the extra effort to engage. And now that extra effort will be archived for all to see.
Get everyone involved.
Let’s face it, communicating on Twitter can take up the whole day. Lighten the load by setting clear guidelines for images and other communication, and let employees snap and share pictures on your company’s behalf. But stay involved and make sure the images coming out of your Twitter account are in line with your company’s values.
Have a conversation using your images.
Designing a new shoe? Snap a pic of the prototype and ask your community to weigh in. Take their input seriously. Chances are, they’ll be the folks buying the product. This will also create a compelling visual narrative through the new Twitter image galleries. So, for example, users could see the shoe going from the sketch to prototype to final completion.
Twitter’s new gallery platform shouldn’t be mistaken as another add-on. It could drastically change the way the platform is used, by consumers and businesses. After all, images speak a thousand words, and they don’t take up any character counts.