Well well well, it’s been a busy weekend at Twitter HQ and after speculation, lots of chatter and #RIPTwitter trending (ironically on Twitter), we’re rounding up the chat from the weekend and what this means.
Back in November 2015, Twitter rocked the boat with updates to their platform - some welcome (Twitter polls and ‘While you were away’), some not so welcome (Twitter Hearts to ‘Like’). These updates sparked some questions - is Twitter struggling? Is it taking into consideration what it’s users want and need? Following recent speculation over the tweet character limit being increased from 140 to 10,000, Twitter blew up on Saturday 6th February with #RIPTwitter trending, but why?
Since November 2013, there is no denying Twitter has done a lot to satisfy the needs of it’s users; cue autoplaying videos, quoted tweets, in-tweet buy buttons and expanded images by default not to mention changes to DM’s (hooray we can now DM those who don’t follow us and ramble on for 1,000 characters)! But early this Saturday, following a report from Buzzfeed, the tweetstorm began surrounding whether or not Twitter would be phasing out it’s real-time, news feed approach changing the algorithm to display content ‘most relevant’ to it’s users. Wait a minute - isn’t this what the ‘While you were away’ function was for?
We hear you - if you wanted to see updates most relevant to you, you would go to Facebook and see what you’re friends had to say, right? For years, Twitter has been the place we all go to in search of the latest news and what’s trending, hey it’s been estimated 44% of Twitter accounts have never sent a tweet and only use the platform for news updates. So if so many of us use it for real-time updates it's begs the question 'if it ain't broke why fix it?'.
This is what caused the uproar on Saturday but fear not, Jack Dorsey - Twitter’s newest CEO - hit back stating ‘Twitter is live. Twitter is real-time’ and ‘we never planned to reorder timelines next week’.
Phew - we can breathe a sigh of relief. The chronological ordering of tweets is what we love so much and is what has kept us coming back for years and years so (and yes we’re speaking for others out there), we’re glad the real-time news feed is here to stay.
What do Twitter users want?
Firstly, with Twitter’s recent change of ‘heart to like’ replacing ‘start to favourite’ as well as speculation around the extended tweet character length, it’s become clear that Twitter users do not want ANOTHER Facebook. We don’t want to replace DM’s with a messenger app. We don’t want to replace follows with friend requests. Twitter’s uniqueness is what keeps us interested, the short character limit is what makes us click through to read more content and we want this to stay.
But we’re with you, what we would love is an edit button, right? Not an edit button to change our tweets months down the line, but an edit button to change that typo we made 10 minutes before but only just realised. At the moment the only workaround is to delete the tweet and try again or own up to your typo. Although we don’t want a Facebook 2.0 - an edit button would be just great!
Let us know your thoughts on #RIPTwitter over on Twitter and let us know any updates you would like to see Twitter introduce.