14 features Twitter needs to consider
Twitter’s to do list :
- Built-in system to reduce URLS and – much more so – to expand the address on mouseover – as some apps already do. Too many nasty surprises can be hidden in obfuscated links!
- Renaming the assignments from “following” and “followers” to something easier and more sensible, like “Friends” and “Followers”, as Tweetcounter and others do.
The best option is to allow people to edit the default to something more personal. For instance ‘celebrities’ might rename to ‘contacts and fans’, a gamer might go with something like ‘cohorts and minions’ while politicians could be honest and go with ‘cronies and plebians’!
- An easy block and report spam button. Affiliate types can be annoying, yes, but some of the spammers are plain sick and need to be stomped on as fast as they slither from under their rocks.
- A handy ReTweet button
- An edit option for posted tags. Faster and far less spammy than copy, paste, edit, post, remove erroneous post.
- Emotes! That’s what else Twitter needs! Online gamers will know what I’m on about!
/cackle You cackle maniacally.
/cackle @target You cackle maniacally at @target.
- A lock option for individual followers, and following so you don’t accidentally remove someone
- Party call mode. Trying to follow conversations between half a dozen friends when you are only seeing parts of the threads and torrents of other messages flooding past, not easy. Would, of course, need agreement between all parties, effectively creating a new channel.
- A user definable tick box / #hash based sorting system. For instance, one day I might only want to concentrate on SEO news and comments, another I might want to chill out with friend and family. In the same way blogs work, there really needs to be a way to assign followers and following to categories. Could also apply the channels idea from party calls above.
- Similarly, a better way of sorting and searching followers / followers. Alpha-numberic and also by date stamp / added order.
- An option to purge followers to get rid of the undesirables. Would need to have the locking in place and ideally be sortable. Several apps already offer this, cannot see why Twitter won’t.
- A way to flag Direct Message for keeping – and equally a way to purge the rest of the junk from it.
- A billing system, based on usage, not only as a monetising thing for themselves but as a way to deter spam. Seriously, does a normal person need to twitter to and with 2,000, 20,000, 2 million people? No way! Should be a scaling system similar to webhosting, but maybe not akin to the incumbent mobile phone tariffs O.o.
If you are a small user, free; if you are a ‘celebrity’ or corporation with a huge following you or your agent should easily be able to finance it; most of the stuff in between is either spam and/or affiliate marketing, or directing people to legitimate sites to make money – and should be charged accordingly
- A mute button, perhaps with a one hour countdown on it. There’s plenty of times when you may not want to removed someone, but at the time feel like screaming “Enough already!” at them.
At present Twitter is fast-tracking to turning from golden boy to epic fail and I’d say it’s only hype and high-profile support from national and international celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, Stephen Fry, and Jason Bradbury keeping it alive. It’s only the momentum carrying it forward but already you can read signs of it plateauing off. What Twitter does next decides whether it leads to another peak – or plummets off the edge of the cliff, just one more loss making dotcom.
All very melodramatic sounding of course – until you realise that some of the trends are terms from affiliate spammers using dozens, even hundreds of account scraping up names by the thousand, possible up to 200,000 a day and spewing out automated timed messages to any who’ll listen. If you look at the tools and methods being used, you’ll soon realise the mind-boggling scale of it.
Take this article on CNET : [ Scammers using search optimization on Twitter ] (now a dead link)
This is just one of many you’ll find. Spammers and scammers are raking in money due to all the flaws in Twitter, many of which could and should easily be nailed shut.
With the exception of the hardcore fraternity who, frankly, should be lined up against a wall and shot, I’ve nothing actually against most of them – but still, come on Twitter, at least give the regular users the tools and information to make informed choices!
Of course, it’s majorly hypocritical for me to say I want a million followers and then moan, but the point is I am a regular user, just one planning on a historic scale. It just emphasises the faults and flaws. To get to a million following me, I am going to need to reciprocate. Strange as it seems I’d also like to try to follow what many of them say, to interact. And even where I am now it’s a struggle, and can only get 1,000 times harder. There are many clever, funny and genuine people out there, and for every one there’s a 100 bots drowning them out in the hope of making – usually scamming – a fast buck.
Eric Jackson echoes this in an article on Business Week: [ Twitter’s Innovation Drought ] (now a dead link)
“Sure, it’s growing like crazy. But growth and innovation needn’t be either/or pursuits, especially when you’ve got Twitter’s cash.”
((Note: This was moved from milliontwits .com)