Digging into the Twitter Toolkit: Twitter’s New Business Services Go Beta

LinkedIn advanced session with Christine Pilch

How could the Twitter Business Center benefit businesses? At this point there is only speculation, as the “business-centric” service has just entered its beta-testing phase. A handful of Twitter accounts—businesses and companies—have been invited to try out the service and offer feedback. Dubbed the Twitter Toolkit, features will be expanded gradually, and offered to more accounts as this testing phase continues.

A little more than half of active Twitter users already follow companies, brands and businesses, and frequently exchange information about products and business services; Twitter is already more of a broadcast channel than many realize; nearly two-thirds of active Tweeps use mobile devices to access this and other social networking sites regularly throughout the day.

Some question the added benefits, wondering if the seemingly minimal changes are worth the effort of implementation. However, if proven successful, the Business Center could potentially morph Twitter into an even more powerful business resource, and open it up to expanded global possibilities. 

Among the possible changes…     

The proposed service would allow business Twitter accounts to accept direct messages (DMs), even from those they don’t follow. This could be especially valuable for businesses that use Twitter as a customer service platform—private customer issues and feedback could be handled quicker and often easier.

Promotion and advertising via Promoted Tweets is another new platform currently being tested by another handful of business and company accounts. This simply means that Tweets by these accounts would reach a wider group of fellow Twitter users. Businesses would pay for advertising, which would be placed in the regular stream. This makes sense. It would, in fact, widen the targeted audience—it will allow ads to be visible to fellow users, regardless of the medium.

While the Promoted Tweets are essentially paid advertising, it’s currently unclear if the Twitter Business Center and Toolkit will be a free service. And if businesses are charged for use, will it be worth the money? Only time and current testing will tell. 


Justine Murphy is a communications specialist with Winstanley Partners. She just finished her first 5K road race in 36:36.