March 24, 2016

5 Changes Twitter Should Make After 10 Years


Happy 10-year anniversary, Twitter!

Wow, 10 years — that’s a long time, especially in those elongated ‘Internet years.’ I wonder if you knew a decade ago that you would become as popular as you have. More than 300 million active monthly users. Wow!

There have been a lot of changes since 2006. Originally, you talked about being “a global community of friends and strangers answering one simple question: What are you doing?” Remember? You’re still that, a bit, but you’re so much more now. A bulletin board, a microphone, a news source, a multimedia platform. You had been a way for friends to connect. You became a way for the world to connect.

New features arrived, like @ tagging, trending topics and, of course, hashtags. But there are still some things from which the platform could still benefit. Here are five we’d like to see:

1. Allow Editing of Tweets

This is long overdue. If I make a typo in a tweet, because I accidentally misspell words or leave out commas or make other grammatical mistakes often enough, I would love to be able to fix it. Otherwise, I need to have an internal debate about whether to delete the tweet and repost it, or whether the typo is minor enough to just leave it.

I’m not the only one with this issue, either, as it might be the most clamored-for feature that Twitter currently lacks.

The main reason for not having an edit feature seems to be the issue of retweets and embedded tweets looking misleading if content has changed dramatically. Why they can’t include something that shows a tweet was edited, I’m not really sure. But this is number one on the wishlist.

2. Tailored Feeds

We see you gradually getting rid of ‘lists’, Twitter. We see you. It’s taking click upon click to view those now.

Not all follows are equal, and a way to sort and categorize the people we follow is a big help. Sometimes I just want to read my sports news without seeing what’s happening in the election, know what I mean? Give us an easy way to create and organize our own categories of people we follow so we can easily see different topics.

The moments feed is pretty awesome, but it’s curated content by Twitter. I’m looking for my own customized feeds, with the topics I want to see. Or even just making lists more prominent again.

3. Ability to Search Through User Feeds

Sometimes, I remember a good tweet I saw once, whether it’s because it was humorous or because it contained good information. I probably favorited it (sorry, ‘liked’ it), but I do that with a lot of tweets. I can view all those to look for one in particular, but that could mean a lot of scrolling. Or maybe there was something I tweeted myself that I want to look back on.

Currently, there’s no good way to find old tweets. Searching Twitter isn’t meant to find individual tweets from a certain point in time. Give me the ability to search user feeds so that I can find the info I need.

4. Ability to Toggle Replies on Mobile Devices

OK, this one is a little harder to explain, so I’m going to use pictures.

The left is the site on desktop. The right is the site on mobile. Notice on desktop, there’s a ‘tweets and replies’ section? So that you can get a cleaner look at what an account is tweeting without having to see all the replies?

I want that on mobile, too!

5. “And” Targeting on the Ads Platform

The targeting on Twitter can be pretty great.

Targeting by keywords people are using, followers of other accounts, television habits, etc. is wonderful. Or at least it can be. The issue is that new targeting techniques keep getting added to create larger audiences, making it difficult to really tailor our advertising audiences.

If Twitter enabled ‘and’ targeting, audiences would become much more customizable. For example, it would be great to target followers of 10 accounts who ALSO have been using one of 10 keywords. There are limited options available (excluding behaviors), but those are half measures. Being able to narrow down audiences would really allow advertisers to hone in on desired targets.

Tags: Tools, Twitter

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