Feature: Soapbox Musings

Twitter Co-Founder Preaches Change, But Why Doesn't Twitter Change?

Author: Stephen Victor
Published: September 11, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Feed me!Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, delivered a message of embracing change at the recent TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco. I managed to catch some video highlights of Dorsey's speech, and read a write-up from LA Times, which says, "Dorsey called on the room packed with entrepreneurs to 'pick a movement, pick a revolution, and join it.'"

While I feel Dorsey's message is mostly applicable to would-be world changers, I feel as though Twitter's own movement is wrapped up in its advertising efforts. The lack of focus on innovating the actual Twitter experience is obvious, especially when compared to how quickly Facebook pushes out the latest and greatest (despite the public's opinion of Zuck's "OCD" with rearranging the furniture too often). No, this isn't a call for Twitter to keep changing things up more frequently to be more like its rival.

Like me, hopefully you can appreciate the consistency Twitter has with its layout as of late. However, the delicate balancing act of consistency and keeping the idea pipe flowing with incremental updates has tipped more on the side of consistency. Too much attention to growing its ad network and tending to the back-end stifles Twitter's ability to remain interesting and fresh to its users. To that end, I've compiled a short list of the "little things" that would be highly appreciated, things that would add a great deal of convenience. They are:

1) Direct Messages (DMs) are hidden in the Me menu like Christmas gifts in mom's closet. The comparison is a bit dramatic, but I'm making a point here. DMs to Twitter are what Chat/Messages are to Facebook, and are a source of free texting for millions. Why then would such a valuable feature not have a prominent access point from the main UI? A new unread tweet count would be ideal adjacent to the Connect button, the place where DMs ought to exist alongside Interactions and Mentions. Said unread tweet count could actually be the sum total of new DMs, Interactions and Mentions — thus inviting the user to become more engaged. Many times, I've failed to notice new DMs because the faint blue flare graphic designed to "alert" we tweeters doesn't really draw my attention too well.

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Article Author: Stephen Victor

Stephen obsesses over three things: tech, tacos and tequila; in that order. Well, not tequila per se, but with the opportunity to alliterate, why not? Follow Stephen here or @stephen_victor for his take on mobile phone and tablet news, rumors and reviews. …

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