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Twitter Beta Testing “Contributors” Feature for Businesses

On Monday, Twitter announced the beta testing of a new feature called ‘Contributors’.? Recognizing that a growing number of businesses are using Twitter and that, within those businesses, several – even many – different people are the “voice” of a company, Twitter is testing new technology which will allow multiple contributors to single account.

Companies have struggled to engage in authentic conversations over Twitter when it was difficult for followers to identify which employee was actually tweeting. You might engage in a conversation with “Bob” at Home Depot in the morning but a continued conversation with Home Depot later in the day could be with “Tom”. Some companies annotate tweets with a contributor’s initials – taking valuable character real estate. Others have each member of a social media team establish separate accounts – like the crew at Comcast.

The new Contributors feature appears to simplify this process. The feature appends the contributor’s username to the tweet byline (and the contributor would, obviously, have to authorize or invite a particular contributor to tweet on its behalf).

Twitter included the following graphic to demonstrate the new feature:

The functionality of the new Contributors feature will by supported by the Twitter API and will likely be integrated into many of the most popular Twitter apps. CoTweet and HootSuite – which are already in heavy use by some multi-contributor businesses – will jump on this. But we’ll probably see it find its way to TweetDeck and Seesmic too, I would think.

This seems to make great sense for Twitter and most businesses – even non-profits could greatly benefit by allowing trusted volunteers to Tweet. We’ll look forward to the roll-out of this feature after testing and will keep you updated!


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