It was called, with inevitable West Coast tweeness, Chirp. And while chirping, they announced a host of interesting stuff, including more locative services for Twitter, more ways of using associated metadata and more ways of integrating Twitter into your website.
And, at this point, I must warn you that I'm going to bow to the inevitable and use the vernacular term for a posting on the Twitter site - a Tweet. It still bothers me and I can imagine the grumpy Luddites out there rolling their eyes as we speak. Still, you lot probably stopped reading me years ago, so let's just plough on and pretend saying "Tweet" in a non-orthological context is perfectly normal.
Because Twitter's most anticipated announcement was the launch of "promoted Tweets". It's the beginning of its "monetisation plan" - something many thought they'd never have - and it's a bit like Google AdWords.
It'll work like this: if you type Starbucks into Twitter's search bar and Starbucks is paying for the service, then a Tweet from Starbucks will appear at the top of the search. So far, so very straightforward. Not really that exciting. But the nuances make it more so.
First, Twitter will algorithmically assign each Tweet a "resonance score" based on how often it's re-Tweeted, favourited, clicked on and generally interacted with. If the resonance score falls too low, then that Tweet will be removed from the stream and no-one will see it. Second, advertisers don't get anything but the standard 140 characters of text to play with. They just have to use the service like anyone else.
Is this worth anything to brands? I'm not sure and it remains to be seen, but it probably will be if you're talking to mobile, tech-savvy audiences and it certainly indi- cates something about the changing nature of marketing creativity.
If you've got to write Tweets that people are going to like and re-Tweet and not get bored with, then that's not easy - you're going to need a dedicated writer, a Tweeter. Someone empowered to speak on your behalf, live, all the time, fitting the corporate character but surfing the Twitter memes and hashtags.
A delicate thing to do and a difficult person to find. Look at the mess politicians have been making of it recently. Could your HR department find you a Twitterer-in-chief? I know this seems like a silly example but it's one worth thinking about; if you want to have relationships with a mass of people, you're increasingly going to need to be competent in a mass of channels. Good luck.