Back in November, I had a foolproof plan to fix Twitter. The problems, and the answers, seemed pretty straightforward to me so I wanted to see how things were going on 2 months later, given how quickly things seem to be moving on the bird app.
My proposal for improving Twitter Blue
- Remove ads
What's really happened with Twitter Blue
The only thing I'd flagged as a no-brainer for Twitter Blue hasn't happened. Here are some of the key features you can enjoy now:
- Blue tick
- Bookmark folders
- Top articles
- Undo Tweet
- Prioritised rankings in conversations
- Longer video uploads
- Reduced ads (coming soon)
Not shabby, but not being ad-free is a deal breaker for me.
My proposal for improving verification
- To be considered a real user, you need to be verified otherwise you're considered a bot
- Verify brands (or businesses)
What's really happened with Verification
Well. Elon's first take on Twitter Blue was a mess. Blue ticks but no verification gave users an opportunity to impersonate and wreak havoc. There's now a verification process of sorts to get blue check mark but I don't see why verification should be a Twitter Blue feature. For prioritisation, sure, but not for the feature overall.
My proposal for limiting replies and mentions
- Quotas for how often you can reply or mention others
- Different behaviour (verification, no abuse) would up your quota
What's really happened
Nothing, if anything there's continued to be a lot of controversy on Twitter as there normally is. Engagement is everything, so this is probably one of the most unrealistic things to achieve.
Max follower count
I proposed a max follower count, which is probably not a thing that anyone is really worried about. Safe to say that this hasn't and probably won't ever change on any platform.
Normalise muting over blocking
I think this is probably one of those situations that I might not know what I'm talking about. I have a low follower count and I don't get any abuse. Admittedly, I'm more of a lurker than a poster (trying to change that) so I don't get dragged into anything. From some of the discourse I've seen, maybe blocking does have it's place.
Some more thoughts
In the past week, one of the biggest changes has been the re-introduction of the 'For You' and 'Following' tabs to the apps.
The default continues to be 'For You' which is algorithmically driven. I hate it. Almost every post has a justification for it's inclusion above it and even then it can take me a minute or two to realise things are not in sync and I'm on the right tab... but I've now read some of the posts I'm going to see when I scroll through the 'Following' tab.
The positive side to it is a clear increase in my engagement on Twitter. Good for my presence, but not really what I want to be doing with my day.
The absolute biggest change however, is the disabling of 3rd-party apps. It's been a decade or so since I last used something like twitterific. I don't remember when I switched back to Twitter.app but I've been happy enough to keep using it. I also see that a lot of people use other apps like twiterrific or Tweetbot.
Twitter should be pushed by these apps to make their own better, not looking for ways to shut them down.
Just for reference, these are the sizes of each of these Twitter clients in the Apple App Store:
- Twitter: 232.2MB
- twitterific: 20.2MB
- Tweetbot: 15.6MB
Twitter.app is more than 10x the size of another popular client. Insane.
For me, the removal of the scrollbar in the iOS app is another maddening change that's been made recently. No context to how much you have left to go, so you look at the time of a tweet in your feed only to see it was a retweet of a post from 3 days ago...
It all just boils down to one thing: I just want someone sensible in charge of Twitter.
As ever, at least for now, you can follow me on @cchana.
Oh, and the hero image for this article was generated using Stable Difussion over at dezgo.com.
John Gruber covered the 3rd party "outage" over at Daring Fireball and ended it with a great line:
Twitter’s own first-party service is falling apart.
I had forgotten in all of the madness that Twitter in general was an absolute mess for me until half way through last year. I had no access to spaces or, the now dead, fleets. I could make fleets work by logging out and back in but after exiting the iOS app they were gone again. Then as the feature was sun-setted I suddenly had access for all of 24 hours (if that). Even today, I don't know how is and isn't supposed to have access to statuses when crafting a tweet. I see them in the app, but can't add them to my own content.
With all of the layoffs, I do hope there are some sensible people with a real product vision around at Twitter.
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