As many know by now, Twitter is struggling to stay afloat amongst the social media index; however, with upcoming changes to the platform- Twitter hopes to regain lost ground.
With CEOs coming and going as fast as active users on the site, Jack Dorsey, the original creator of Twitter, has decided to take back the reigns and attempt to stear the ship back to safe waters. With the recent release of Twitter’s Q4 earnings, many skeptics see this as a forewarning for a future fallout. Dorsey, or @Jack (what the creator goes by for a twitter-handle), has decided to make some changes that has few excited and many infuriated, leading to the hashtag #RIPTwitter. This prompted @Jack to release a series of tweets to slow the downwards roll of negativity:
So what are the actual changes coming?
1) Twitter has essentially redesigned it’s time feed. While it continues to be realtime, they have added a feature called Timeline Personalization. When this setting is turned on, “Tweets you are likely to care about most will show up first in your timeline. We choose them based on accounts you interact with most, Tweets you engage with, and much more. You can find instructions for how to turn off this behavior here.” This could mean great things for advertisers and company’s to really connect with their users; however, it can also take away from what users truly love about Twitter- real time tweets from any and everybody. Learn more about this feature here.
2) @replies will not contribute to 140 characters. Whenever you want to respond to a chain of tweets comprised by multiple users, tagging all of them sometimes leaves tweets with only tens of characters to spare. With these changes, @replies will not take up the strict character limit. Instead, any @users you reply to will be separate from your text and the user names may be crunched down to avoid the longevity.
3) .@user will be a thing of the past. Prior to these changes, if you replied to somebody only your followers that share this connection would be able to see the tweet in their timelines; this resulted with people using a character like a period before a reply so followers can see what they said. No longer will users need to do this for everyone to see their tweets.
While some users are excited about these few (of many) changes coming to the interface, many people are angry about this. I personally enjoy Twitter for its ‘real-time’ sense compared to other sites like Facebook. When news breaks, or tragedy strikes, one can be immediately alerted. Also for events such as the Superbowl, I can keep up with moments as they happen and everyone’s immediate reaction. While this new feature may keep out smaller accounts tweets in comparison to large networks like CNN, I believe this will make the platform better than worse. The already present ‘While you were away’ feature will essentially be replaced by this new concept. This feature, which encapsulated the most important tweets or at least the tweets that received the most traffic, were brought to the top of the feed, but that is only after 10 or so tweets and it was marked with the tittle ‘While you were away’. I personally enjoy this feature because when I am away from the app, I can come back and immediately be caught up on big news, or at least when my friends post a photo of someone else passed out I can laugh too. For the other updates, I see no harm in any of this. While sometimes I tweet specifically to a company and dont care for any one to see this, I can see why in other situations this will come in handy. Have no fear. Twitter will once again be great- Jack promises us. If not, Twitter will join the likes of Myspace lost to eternity in the internet underworld.