PR chiefs back launch of social media giant Twitter's Business Center

PR professionals have welcomed news that Twitter is set to launch a 'Business Center', a paid-for package offering additional user tools for brands.

The social media phenomenon rolled out its beta testing stage last week. It offered selected brands the opportunity to exclusively test the new features, which include verified accounts and the ability to receive direct messages from users without the need to follow them.

33 Digital's senior programme director Phil Sheard said: 'These changes are designed to increase trust and authenticity for businesses, so PR teams will need to make sure their brands are set up correctly. It's a positive step as the platform matures.'

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone told PRWeek last year that the company had plans to develop the brand's business model via two revenue streams; verified accounts and research.

Bite Communications head of broadcast and digital services Daniel Sands said: 'A verified Twitter account for a business is important as it will add a good deal of legitimacy to a brand presence and clear up a lot of confusion.

'That said, once a company has a verified account it adds an additional layer of expectation that companies will staff these channels.'

Paul Armstrong, social media director, Kindred argued the new features made Twitter a 'large customer relationship management system'.

But he claimed many brands still did not understand how to use the platform. He said: 'Many brands are still broadcasting and not communicating.'

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