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article imageTwitter has officially launched polls, unveiled more new features

By James Walker     Oct 22, 2015 in Technology
Twitter has announced it is launching several new features that will benefit both users and developers. At its second Twitter Flight conference yesterday, the company officially started the roll-out of native polls and video ads.
Support for polls was first introduced a few weeks ago when a small group of users found they had access to the feature as it approached the end of development. Official polls are now available for everybody online and in the Twitter iOS and Android apps, letting users easily gauge the opinions of their followers.
Twitter Product Manager Todd Sherman wrote in a blog post that the old methods used to poll people such as using hashtags and asking followers to favourite or retweet to indicate their response didn't really provide the best interaction with Twitter's "massive audience." Two-option polls can now be created with a tap of the pie-chart icon in the "New tweet" dialog box. They remain live for 24 hours and provide an easy visual digest of the general feeling among voters.
Advertisers can now take advantage of native video ads that will display in tweets and on timelines. Although video ads are already common on Twitter, they are not currently provided directly by the platform and instead use embedded code to display external content. Developers can now monetize with videos without any dependency on a third-party provider. An additional new feature, called Audience Insights, lets the creators of apps using Twitter gain a closer look into the people using their products, "taking your understanding to a whole new level."
Taking tweets in a completely different direction, Twitter announced it is introducing support for the Unity game engine. The company will be providing a dedicated set of tools for game makers, raising the possibility of real-time tweeting of achievements and in-game content like screenshots or video captures. Twitter engineer Chase Latta said it could "be a huge opportunity to drive organic growth."
The Twitter Flight conference was introduced by recently-appointed CEO and company co-founder Jack Dorsey. Dorsey publicly apologised to developers who use Twitter and have felt let down by the company's lack of two-way dialogue with them, saying he wants to "reset" Twitter's relationship with the people who expand on its capabilities and use them in innovative and unique ways.
Social Times reports he said: "We want to make sure that we have a great relationship with our developers, that we have an open, honest and transparent relationship, and that we are fulfilling and serving every one of your needs."
Dorsey continued to explain what he sees Twitter as representing, saying it "stands for freedom of expression … speaking truth to power" and stating "we will not rest until that is recognised as a global human right." Dorsey has been acting as CEO for less than three weeks but has been in the role in an interim capacity since July, when Dick Costolo stepped down. Since then, Dorsey has already begun to introduce change, turning Twitter into a direction that works more closely with developers, creates new heavily-requested features for users and could bring the growth and profit that the company ultimately needs.
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