As part of recent updates to its search capabilities, Twitter created an image function that allows users to preview photos and videos at the top of queries. This new addition revolutionizes the once text-only social networking site, and writers for both ReadWrite and Social News Daily believe the new image search function is an attempt to compete with Instagram, which currently dominates the visual social sharing sphere.
On the Twitter blog, engineer Tian Wang explains when a user searches for a person, event or hashtag, he or she now sees a grid of the most relevant media above the stream of Tweets. In addition, search results on smartphones will automatically feature images and video. Wang writes, "Photos and article summaries automatically show previews to give you a bird’s eye view on what’s happening."
While the search function isn't refined quite yet, it's expected to improve over time. As content marketing professionals consider the importance of the new image function, they may consider focusing efforts on generating stimulating photos, which were once primarily reserved for Facebook and Pinterest, on Twitter.
Competition between brands will now rely heavily on photos, as users are more likely to click on the most eye-catching. Effective social media marketing links inspiring, intriguing and relevant Tweets to high-quality, unique images.