Twitter is attempting to leverage the power of its most influential users by offering them exclusive apps with which to interact with followers.
The new tools, which are reportedly only available to a few hundred verified celebrities, include an optimized Q & A organizer, and a selfie camera. The apps are thought to be part of Twitter’s latest push to boost its Moments feature.
The Twitter Q & A app is built around celebrity-fan interactions and exchanges. Regular Twitter users already know that question and answer sessions are commonplace on the service. The new app is a reader that allows celebs and their teams to trawl through the thousands of tweets directed at them during an event, in order to flag the ones they wish to reply to. Secondly, it also acts as a handy analytics tool that notifies users about the followers they’ve gained and the reach of their tweets after each event.
The Twitter Selfie Camera borrows heavily from Snapchat by allowing verified users to add visual tags (emojis, hashtags, text, the Twitter icon) to photos. It’s already been put to use on the platform by pop star Demi Lovato (see below) and others.
— Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) December 21, 2015
The app also boasts a feature termed Twitter Challenger, which basically prompts the user to act out a task (whether it be a cue to dance or simply to answer a question). Senator Rand Paul gave a shout-out to the Twitter Challenger function in a recent tweet, posted from the social network’s New York HQ. Coincidentally, the feature resembles a function available on the recent viral social media sensation, Peach. The recently released app (from the co-founder of the Twitter-owned video service, Vine) includes a lightbulb icon that, when tapped, asks questions of the user in order to help them post more frequently.
— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 15, 2016
Overall, the new tools indicate that Twitter is offering its most powerful users the ability to branch out in imaginative new ways. For Twitter, that will mean exclusive content (in the case of the Selfie Camera, the Twitter icon even acts as a watermark, ensuring you know where it happened first), which it promises to use in its self-curated Moments section.
“We encourage partners to basically post really great native, rich, unique content. They know that if they do that they will likely get featured in Moments, what we’re doing is a tool to make that easier,” Jinen Kamdar, the global director of product for Twitter Media, told TechCrunch.