Do you need images and videos on Twitter?

Twitter will soon be allowing users to add images and videos to their stream. There was an option for enabling “Tweet Media” for a little while before Twitter pulled it down. The brief glimpse was enough to get people excited. Twitter later confirmed (officially) that they are indeed working on bringing images and video to the microblogging site. Many users couldn’t have been happier for the announcement, while many say the introduction will spoil Twitter’s simple look. But do you, as a marketer, need the addition of Tweet Media? Let’s find out.

Biggest advantage? More users

Many users had so far been staying away from Twitter because they saw little utility in sharing 140 character updates. They could do that on Facebook, and a lot more. Sure, there are millions of Twitter users, but it still hasn’t caught up with Facebook. And no one has quite managed to put a number on accounts created simply for spam purposes. With the addition of images and videos, users could just find that missing part to the Twitter experience. The most used feature on Facebook, apart from the status updates, is the photo album feature. Twitter won’t quite allow users to create albums (at least not from what we have seen so far). But for a user, simply being able to share that great image of a puppy with its mother he clicked on his way to the office might be incentive enough to log on to Twitter.

And you can market your products better

(Image Intentionally Blurred)

Twitter home pages were fast becoming walls of meaningless links interspersed among useless tweets. With the addition of images and videos, marketers now have a way of product differentiation. So you can add a great video review of the product you are linking to, or a funny image from the blog post you want tweeple to read. So far, everything looks hunky-dory and there doesn’t seem to be a single reason for marketers to be worried about the new addition.

But will users really accept it?

“Twitter with inline images and videos? Sounds like self-mutilation to me.” – Lem on

Getting new users might sound like a great idea but will the current users accept the addition? In a way, it is like getting a step-brother into the family. Users will either learn to love it or loathe it, there’s no middle ground. If the current users choose not to enable Tweet Media, there will be little use of the service.

And will Twitter be able to handle it?

With the added load of having to process images, Twitter servers might be unable to stay up. The feature wouldn’t do much good to Twitter if users are unable to access Twitter itself. Surely, though, Twitter knows what it is doing? Surely, it will upgrade its servers enough to be able to take the added pressure? The recent cases of Twitter going down due to increased strain on its servers seem to suggest otherwise.

Marketers will have to wait and watch how it plays out. Only once the users have tried out the new addition and responded to it can they figure out its true utility.