Twitter Adds Custom Feature To Aid Messaging

In a digital world increasingly populated by bots, Twitter is helping businesses add a human element to direct messaging.

With a new feature, Custom profiles in Direct Messages, businesses can make it clear to customers that they are communicating with a real human representative.  

T-Mobile has signed on as the feature’s launch partner.

“T-Mobile … will be the first brand to use custom profiles through @TMobileHelp,” a Twitter spokeswoman said on Wednesday. “Private DM conversations will show the real face, name, and title of the T-Force agent.”

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When it comes to business-to-consumer communications, the more personalized the better, Twitter finds. “According to our research,  77% of people are likely to recommend a brand following a personalized customer service interaction,” the spokeswoman said.

More broadly, Twitter’s future remains uncertain. The long-embattled company reported less than solid fourth-quarter earnings, this month.

Missing analysts’ estimates, the social network saw revenue increase by just 1% to $717 million year-over-year.Twitter’s adjusted earnings of 16 cents a share bested forecasts for the period, but that wasn’t enough to offset sagging user grown.

For the fourth quarter, monthly active users were up just 4% to 319 million year-over-year. Worse yet, ad revenue totaled $638 million, during the period -- down slightly year-over-year.

Analysts are struggling for nice to things to say about Twitter.

“Twitter is losing traction fast,” Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer, said in a recent note. “It is starting to shed once-promising products, such as Vine, and sell off parts of its business, such as its Fabric app development platform.”

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