As a social network, Twitter is an unusual animal. The microblogging website has struggled to get to grips with reinventing itself against the competition, although there is no service that is quite the same as Twitter. One of the ways that Twitter has found something of a niche is in providing customers and users of all manner of services with near as live support. Companies and institutions all over the world have adopted Twitter, from bus companies, rail operators, airlines, to local stores, carriers and device manufacturers. When used for this purpose, Twitter has several advantages. One is that there is an established service with the ability to direct replies to an individual but keep them public, such that if the information is relevant to a wider audience, these people may be reached. Second is that Twitter allows direct messaging – these are private between the respondents, and this in turn means that should a customer have a detailed complaint or one that requires divulging personal information, they may use a direct message. From an infrastructure perspective and whilst there is an established Twitter system, there are many third party applications offering an easy way to access and tap into the Twitter service.
Today, we've news that Google's online photograph and video storage service, Google Photos, is offering live support via Twitter, Monday to Friday, between 0800 and 1700 Pacific time, excluding holidays via the @googlephotos handle or #GooglePhotos hashtag. The GooglePhotos account, which already has over 57,000 followers, now appears set up to answer questions from users all over the planet about how the service current works, giving suggestions and feedback. There are many other Google products and services offering near live support via Twitter and it's proven to be a great way to engage with customers.
The Google Photos service was launched to replace the original Google+ photo and video backup service. Google Photos includes the ability to search through your library of images and very quickly produce search results through a sophisticated image recognition service. Although the search engine isn't always accurate, as it is based in Google's cloud computing system, it is steadily evolving and being improved. The Google Photos service is free to use and can be set up for unlimited image and photograph storage. The application integrates with Google Drive and Google Play Services on the Android platform, which means it's a great way of keeping your photographs safe. It also makes it very easy to transfer photographs between Android devices when it's upgrading time and it's independent of whatever manufacturer your device comes from.