Interview with Eric Kim, CEO of Twylah

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Andre is a Social Media Marketing and Inbound Marketing Specialist. He is a frequent blogger on social media marketing trends, technologies and events in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Article first written for, and published as “Friendly Twitter” Gets Even Friendlier: Technorati Interview with Eric Kim, CEO of Twylah on Technorati.

Twitter for Business Marketing

Ever been asked this question from your older, somewhat tech-challenged parents: “What’s this ‘Twitter’ thing?”  Eric Kim did, and after a week of explaining, his mother still didn’t understand it.  Understandably so, after all, Tweeting isn’t for everyone.  In fact, only an estimated 10-15% of the U.S. population uses Twitter. Twylah aims to change that.

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Faced with his mother’s question over a year ago, Eric Kim, CEO of Twylah, set out to build a new user Twitter experience. We first reported on Twylah last fall, when the product was still in its beta stage. A half a year later, and the product has gained a powerful following and some new and exciting features even more visually appealing and on-topic for readers.

New Ways to Reach Consumers with Twylah

The latest phase of Twylah’s product development placed a focus on building an even stronger reader engagement level within its pages.  Design refreshes can be seen throughout the site.  The overwhelming emphasis now is about giving your audience a landing to what they are looking for, said Kim, in an exclusive interview with Technorati.

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Twylah posts now include (1) a thumbnail image to the left of a tweet (when available). A familiar reading style for users, resembling Google News and Facebook, this makes for effective UI.  What’s more, tweets have been simplified, and clutter removed. Before, your Twylah page would show the entire tweet including the URL.  The URL is now removed (2), delivering only the most critically relevant text for the reader.  Topic pages have been enhanced, too.

twy1Featuring the same thumbnail convention, if one’s not available for your particular tweet the default is this groovy Warhol-esque collage. In an online world where content rules, this type of visual stimulation works quite well. In Twylah lexicon, “topic” is synonymous with “category.” Topics are one of the defining and valuable features of the Twylah reading experience, effectively curating contextually relevant Tweets with one another to form a reading point of interest. Twylah’s topic pages are more uniform than ever before. This is a monumental advancement for the presentation of Twitter content. Twylah topic pages are broken into a more familiar blog-like grid presentation, topic pages enable readers to quickly scan topical content with just enough visual and textual elements to decide whether to read, or not.

The Power Tweet Gets More Powerful

One of the defining features of Twylah is the “Power Tweet.” In it’s essence, the Power Tweet is precisely as it advertises, delivering a link to a powerfully relevant and curated landing page chock full of content. So effective are these pages that readers of Power Tweets spend 3-5 minutes engaging in their on-line content. Highly contextual, and highly visual, the newly enhanced Power Tweet drives the same reader focus with the added element of customization.

New to the Power Tweet is the ability to customize the look and feel. Twylah publishers can now select images or article media gathered from the URL they are tweeting.

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Also new, is that your Twylah readers now receive a (1) scrolling menu of “trending topics” to the right of your Twitter content. No matter where they are on your page, they are given a selection of carefully curated topics you’ve similarly Tweeted. What’s also new is that they are given a dozen more (2) contextual tweets below the Power Tweet itself. Contextual serendipity is what made StumbleUpon so successful, and here Twylah is delivering that same reader and user experience.

How Does All This Affect User Engagement?

It affects it in a big way. According to Eric Kim, the average time-on-page has increased 10-20%. Page views per visit have increased up to 20%. And what’s even more impressive is that bounce rates have been reduced by 15%. Effectively, then, this means that 15% of Twylah page visitors are actually staying on their page instead of “clicking-off,” and now they’re staying longer than before. Think about Twitter Tweets on the whole, and these are exceptional statistics.

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In the end, it’s estimated that the shelf-life of a Tweet is roughly one hour for 95% of them. 5% live longer because they are about Justin Bieber. For the rest of us mere mortals, a Tweet disappears after an hour. So what’s complementary about Twylah is that a Tweet is now given a second life, and a broader one, at that.

So, What’s Ahead for Twylah?

Eric shared with me some neat Twylah features currently in development. Soon, users will be able to enjoy things like the Buffered Power Tweet, and trending and contextual Tweet widgets.

Buffered Power Tweet 
The “Power Tweet” being integrated with Buffer for time delay / scheduling.  Making your tweet more targeted in its second life. The marriage of technology is a natural one, Buffer is all about the initial launch of your Twitter message.  Twylah is about everythinng post-click.

“Trending” Blog Widget
Soon to be a thing of the past are your last five Tweets embedded into the widget column of your blog. Because, really, readers aren’t interested if you’re going to “Meet you there in 20 minutes, Ted.” The Twylah trending tweets widget will give readers more meaningful content.

Contextual Tweet Widget
For any given page on your blog or website, this Twylah widget will generate Twitter content germane to the subject at hand. Surrounding your page with complementary content, Twylah will make your website or bloge even more relevant to your readers.

For now, we’ll enjoy Twylah’s latest features, engage our readers even more, and await more exciting things to come.

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