In many ways, Twitter is the wild west of social media: a disorganized deluge of tweets from all manner of sources. It’s a minefield for users, obviously, but just as bad for brands and influencers, too: it’s tough to make heads or tails of just who’s following your campaigns and activity if there aren’t the tools to do so. Thankfully, though, Twitter’s launching a companion app that promises to address that issue: an app called Engage.
Engage provides “real-time data and insights,” wrote Twitter Senior Product Manager Matt Dennebaum in a blog post, and one that help you to get a big-picture sense of the folks behind your follower count. How does it achieve that, exactly? By surfacing your Twitter mentions, for one — every time a follower tweets at your account, you’ll get a notification — and by providing a detailed dashboard of statistics for your perusal. You can see the number of likes, retweets, mentions, and impressions you’ve racked up in a given time frame, plus weekly totals and percentage changes. And, if you require even more granularity, you can track the performance of GIFs, images, videos, and “other Twitter” activity individually.
“As creators, influencers, and public figures, you have a special connection with your followers on Twitter,” said Dennebaum. “Through Tweets, you can share content and have conversations with fans and other influencers in real time — and now we’ve made it easier to manage those daily interactions and measure success.”
Engage lacks a Twitter timeline of any form, but that is by design. The app is meant to filter the cacophony of tweets that tens of thousands of followers inevitably generate. Instead, you get a distillation: the mentions you want, and everything else in the form of pure, unadulterated metrics.
There is a downside to Engage, of course, in that the app is necessarily isolating — you’re no longer part of the Twitter fray, but instead simply broadcasting content to the world and awaiting a response in retweets and “likes.” But given that a coherent conversation with thousands of people is pretty much impossible, anyway, and given the one-sidedness that popular Twitter accounts tend to have already, Engage might just be formalizing the status quo.
Twitter is launching Engage for all users today. It’s an iOS affair, for now, and only available in the United States.
Twitter has been courting enterprise, marketers, and celebrities aggressively lately. In January, it rolled out new apps including Q&A, which aims to simplify the process of conversing with followers, and Twitter Camera, which provides shortcuts to photo haghtags and emojis. And in February, it rolled out features that allow businesses to send direct messages to customers and solicit feedback.
The effort comes as Twitter struggles to maintain growth. It reported minuscule growth in monthly active users in the fourth financial quarter of last year — its first flat quarter since 2013 — and forecast revenue for the first quarter of 2016 far below analysts’ expectations. It’s a problem Twitter chief Jack Dorsey’s pledged to fix expeditiously. “We think there’s a lot of opportunity to fix the broken windows and confusing aspects of our product,” he said in a recent earnings call with investors.