Twitter boosts photo sharing, teases at redesign, seeks music relaunch

What’s new with Twitter? Quite a bit over the past couple of days:

• On Wednesday, San Francisco-based Twitter rolled out new photo-sharing features, giving users the ability to include up to four photos in a tweet and tag the names of up to 10 friends in a photo. The image tags won’t count against Twitter’s 140-character limit, freeing up a little extra space for users. The new photo features may give tweets a look more akin to posts on archrival Facebook — which has had photo tagging for years, and added it to Instagram last year — but that seems fair, since Facebook appropriated Twitter-like hashtags for its comments last year. Twitter added Instragram-like photo filters in 2012.

• Speaking of Twitter looking more like Facebook, more changes appear to be in store for Twitter’s interface. The Next Web reports Twitter appears to be testing a new design for its profile page as part of its latest iOS update. The new look, which is not yet available to everyone, shifts a few elements around on the user’s bio page, and adds timeline elements such as photos and favorites.

The Next Web also reports some iOS users are seeing a new “share” button replacing “retweet.” The makeover may be part of Twitter’s strategy to make its interface simpler for new users; last week reports surfaced of a possible phase-out of the ubiquitous hashtags and “@” symbols. Usernames may even be pushed to the background: GigaOm speculates that real-name photo tagging may be the first step to phasing out “@” usernames.

• And after killing off its #Music app, Twitter appears to be launching a new foray into music. The Wall Street Journal reports the company is seeking a partners — Beats Music and Soundcloud were mentioned — for a new music-sharing service. Twitter also announced Thursday a partnership with Billboard to create a real-time chart of trending music. That would go along with Twitter’s overall entertainment strategy; it is already seeking more advertising based on the impact of its close ties with TV.

Mike Murphy Mike Murphy (359 Posts)

Mike Murphy is a web producer at the Mercury News, and also writes for Good Morning Silicon Valley and 60-Second Business Break.