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Calm down: The IPO will not change Twitter... that much

NEED TO KNOW
  • More ads, more toys, more images may be on the way
  • But user experience not expected to change drastically
  • Shop with a tweet? Analyst suggests it's possible
Calm down: The IPO will not change Twitter... that much

What are Bitstrips and why are they all over Facebook?

What are Bitstrips and why are they all over Facebook?

DON'T follow these celebs on Twitter!

DON'T follow these celebs on Twitter!

Well, that was fast.

Within minutes of Twitter going public Thursday, its stock price was up more than 70%!

Also, its signature 140-character count was immediately truncated to just 70, to allow for more built-in advertising space in your tweets.

That last sentence is a total lie -- however, user concerns about how the IPO will change the service are very real. In particular, concerns that Twitter will turn into some slavish automaton bending to capitalist demands.

Well the good news, dear free-loaders/socialists, is that appears unlikely to happen in any dramatic way. But that doesn't mean the Twitter we see humming before us today will be unaltered in its post-IPO existence.

So what sort of switches might we see? The honest answer is nobody knows. But there are some pretty legitimate ideas floating around out there, including these:

Yes, more ads. Well c'mon. A bird's gotta earn some scratch, right? Twitter already has sponsored posts popping up in your feed, which you might remember as those things you "X" out as soon as they appear. So this isn't totally uncharted territory.

Twitter will most likely keep the feed impact low-wattage, but increase advertising efforts in its other services, such as their TV ad targeting, which works with companies to bridge the TV-Twitter advertising divide.

Born on Twitter! Hospital live tweets this C-Section

The Instagram Effect: Also known as, "Yes, more ads: Part II." Image(s) really is everything on social media right now, with photo-dominated layouts ruling. Twitter made a big move in this direction last week, when it began forcing tweeted images to automatically display. Previously you'd have to tap the tweet or a link to see an image.

This matters for advertisers because guess what they love? Big branded images that you can't turn off. "Since ads that feature rich media like photos, videos and slideshows take up more space and get more attention, your Twitter stream will start to look more like Facebook," SocialFresh.com CEO Michael Pachter told MarketWatch

New toys: Twitter Music and Vine might have just been the beginning. Products designed for and built around Twitter are likely to keep rolling off the IT assembly line. "I think we’re going to see more of those complementary apps and services, built around the fact that they’re going after real-time news and information," Gartner analyst Brian Blau told Verge.

Ugh: It's been a weird day on Twitter for the OTHER Edward Snowden

People are only going to spend so much time scrolling their feed, so there's a need for these new products, Blau told Verge. Specifically, he foresees products that cater to live events or local businesses.

You'll be in-the-know on Buenos Aires current events: As Mark Zuckerberg knows all too well, at some point you start running out of humans to use your service. If global domination is the goal, it usually comes at the cost of market saturation. A nice problem to have, frankly, and Twitter is trying to get there.

The company will likely continue expansion efforts into southeast Asia and South America, according to Blau. That won't impact users too much, unless you feel like adding some pals in new countries.

T-Time: If you only follow one A-Team member on Twitter...

Charge it to my Twitter Card: Say you're sitting at home and see a company tweet some great offer on jeans. Going to their website and taking out your credit card is simply too much effort, First Worlder. Instead, how about you just tap "reply" to the tweet and the item is charged to a card on file?

Social media consultant Jennifer Brown suggests that could be how Twitter adds a shopping function to the site, similar to Facebook's Gifts.

Of course, all this is just scratching the surface of what Twitter could do. So let's play mad social media scientist here. What features or products would you want to see from the company? Share your ideas in the comments!

Follow Jonathan Anker on Twitter @JonFromHLN

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