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Pros and cons of Revue by Twitter online newsletter

Photo credit: Create Her Stock

Is print dead? Depending on who you ask, it’s fighting to survive or a thing of the past. But the digital world continues to make sure news survives even if it’s not a tangible product to hold in one’s hands.

In fact, while 41 percent of U.S. adults prefer TV news, approximately 37 percent prefer to get local news from online channels. For any news outlet (radio, web, TV, print), everyone has their favorites. And in today’s tech-savvy world, there’s a growing group of users who don’t just want to flip through a newspaper, turn on their TVs, or scroll through an online news site or blog. They prefer to find out the latest news from social media accounts that they already follow as opposed to sifting through traditional news outlets.

So where are social media users looking for their online news updates?

  • 52 percent look on Facebook
  • 28 percent look on YouTube
  • 17 percent look on Twitter
  • 14 percent look on Instagram
  • 8 percent refer to LinkedIn and Reddit
  • 6 percent check out Snapchat

Twitter is one of many social media outlets taking note of how many people are paying attention to news and writers on their platforms, too. But with an estimated 6K tweets sent out per second, along with stats from the other popular platforms, it would be impossible for readers to be able to keep up with every single update in real time. Of course users could always scroll through the pages of journalists and independent freelancers they follow. But even with Fleets (disappearing tweets), users may still miss out. And for writers on social media who want to keep their followers in the loop, having a place to show off their Twitter highlights is essential. Now they can.

Twitter partners with Revue online news platform

In a recent post from Twitter’s official blog, the social media platform announced that users can work on Revue’s site to create and publish weekly editorial newsletters. For users who are using other email platforms (ex. MailChimp or MailerLite), Revue is just as easy to copy and paste the text and schedule out. Content creators can skip the pricy fees and create newsletters for free. (Note: Some online news publications do offer free options up to a specified number of followers. Then writers must pay to continue releasing those email campaigns.)

On Revue (as of now), it’s $0.00. Of course with a free platform, there are some pros and cons.

Twitter Revue upsides:

  • Users can release a simultaneous share of their Revue newsletters on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even content creation publications like Medium.
  • Dragging past tweets over creates a cleaner, easier layout than trying to create a newsletter from scratch with your own designs.
  • Users’ Twitter bios and images are already placed at the bottom of the newsletter, making it that much easier for new readers to find and follow their accounts.
  • Email creators get out of the tricky (but mandatory) requirement to put their real mailing address at the bottom of each newsletter. (Note: The CAN-SPAM Act, a law that sets the rules for commercial email and establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to make sure senders stop emailing them. The Act also spells out tough penalties for repeat violators. A private mailbox, street address and/or P.O. box are required on the footer area of these newsletters, which can be especially alarming for writers releasing their newsletters to strangers.)
  • When the newsletter is sent, Twitter writers can also send an auto-tweet for their followers (who may not be subscribers) to see the full post on a browser page.
  • Users can schedule the newsletter for a later time and/or date, or send it immediately.
  • Current subscribers have the option to forward on to their friends to also subscribe.
  • Users who may not be sure about whether they want to subscribe or not have the option of looking at past issues beforehand.
  • Email creators can personalize their Revue link to easily find past newsletter posts.
  • There is a Google Chrome extension to keep the newsletter programming on Twitter writers’ minds even when they’re not on Twitter.

Twitter Revue downsides:

  • Be ready for them to email you every day, without an unsubscribe link or a way to contact them to remove the daily emails, reminding you of what you can add to each newsletter.
  • Copying and pasting becomes tricky, specifically with banners and images. Although the images can easily be uploaded, the drag feature does not work correctly. Even after dragging the image up, it still tends to stay at the bottom of the newsletter where it started.
  • While users can forward on to their own friends and Twitter users can see the post in real time to click and subscribe, email creators still are required to have email addresses for subscriptions. Entering Twitter usernames only is not an option.
  • The default image that pops up to send the newsletter is a stretched-out version of the user’s default Twitter profile picture. It will more than likely show up pixelated and is poor quality.
  • Even after renaming the newsletter, the default text still says “By weekly newsletter of _______________________.”
  • There is a bit of wrestling around to edit text fonts, colors and sizes. Headings are much easier to format than the rest of the text, along with spacing.
  • Make sure the default image on your prior tweet is “newsworthy” enough to use in the newsletter because that’s what shows up when dragging over past tweets.
  • The link option does not work correctly, and you will often have to copy and past original links as opposed to hyperlinking text. Although Revue says the links are “Saved,” they do not show up in preview or final copy.

Is Revue by Twitter worth it?

If you’re trying to get around paying for monthly subscriptions, you can’t beat a $0 membership rate. Keep in mind though that Twitter has recently been asking users about how much they’re willing to pay for certain services, including TweetDeck, so there’s no telling how long this online newsletter will stay free.

But for very active Twitter users who really want people to focus on a few of their most “important” tweets, creating a Revue by Twitter newsletter (and linking it in a user’s bio area or pinning the Revue link at the tops of their profile page) can easily help new Twitter followers decide whether they’re interested in following these online news writers for the long haul or opting out a few tweets later. For personal branding alone, Revue by Twitter for writers is worth it. For designs and more flexibility with artwork, Twitter users may not want to close their other email subscription accounts just yet. Give Revue time to work out some kinks.

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