Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What's All This About Twitter Failing?

What's all this I hear about #twitterfail…on Twitter?

Everyone is up in arms about a feature change.  This article at Read Write Web by Marshall Kirkpatrick explains what's going on and this comment really clarifies things.  (Give the comment part of the page a few seconds to load).

First of all, I didn't realize the difference between a reply on Twitter where the @userid appears at the beginning of the tweet, e.g., 

@otherguy I absolutely agree with you!

and a mention on Twitter, where the @userid appears somewhere else in the Tweet.

I have to say that @otherguy seems to have a handle on this.

It seems all of the brouhaha is over replies appearing on your home page.

As the above articles point out, this is a feature that I don't think I ever had turned on in the first place and I was already confused about why I wasn't seeing replies on my Twitter home page.

I had sort of punted and was relying on Twitter Search to find posts and replies, but that is a more awkward, per-user-target type of approach.

Why they would remove a feature that only 2% of their users have turned on in the first place, at the cost of such an uproar (even if it's misplaced) is unclear to me.  At least a lot of us are learning more about how to use Twitter in the first place.