Regardless, I wanted to take a moment to talk about how these changes might affect the way the auto industry uses Twitter. There were quite a few changes but the first I'll focus on is the embedding of media. You will no longer have to upload pictures to Twitpic or videos to YouTube (in theory) as you can now embed it directly into the tweet. This also means when viewing the media you do not have to actually leave Twitter. Instead it opens directly in that window, somewhat like the latest versions of Tweetdeck and Seesmic operate.
This major change directly affects the web interface of Twitter--which, by the way, has been completely overhauled. If you have an iPad (of course you do) and use the Twitter application, then the new web interface will be quite similiar to your current experience. The video below (towards the end of the video) gives you a look at what the new web experience will be like.
Personally, I use Tweetdeck and many other applications on my my computer and iPhone to manage my Twitter. Apparently there are quite a few (read majority of) Twitter users that use only the web interface. This change will bring much more functionality for those users.
Tying this back to High Gear Media and you: how will this affect social media? In my opinion it will and it won't. Most companies use services like Hootsuite, Radian6, SM2, Tweetdeck, and many more to manage their brands online. It would be difficult to manage a large brand with the Twitter web interface. Though, for some of the users who work in automotive and do use the web interface, it'll make their lives much easier. For what it's worth, initial reactions seem to be that this is needed but not groundbreaking. Some people seem underwhelmed while others feel this will make them more likely to use Twitter more often.