Twitter – between a rock and a hard place

G+ is not a FB killer but seriously hurts Twitter

It looks like Twitter is now paying a price for sloppy technology, ignoring it's long time advocates and lack of innovation. The "uncomfort" of Tweepl is growing rapidly. Robert Scoble just posted his view why "Twitter is boring

Twitter revolutionized the way we communicate by giving us a platform for most instant information sharing across the world. Twitter revolutionized the way we articulate our thoughts by forcing us to *focus* our thoughts and squeeze them into 140 character and we all not only learned to do so but *really* appreciate the fast communication.
Twitter revolutionized the way we connect with people by simply follow others without protocol.

All of the above made it one way or the other, either by using the schema or by behavioral adjustment (we use 140isch charcters and try to stay short) into most social networks. But as the old saying goes: "Good enough is not good enough". Innovation never stops and Twitter is in a serious situation.

In other words, Twitter has hurt itself

  1. Listening
    Twitter has still no real good relationship with its users – in particular the long time advocates. "Listen to your customer" is not known to Twitter – maybe because we are not a "customer". Twitter: So start building a relationship and build it quickly.
  2. Technology
    The technology fails almost daily. And the worst thing, it's part of the strategy. An undisclosed source told me once that the enormous talk about the technology break down is helpful and spreads the word about Twitter – well maybe it is a boomerang? Twitter: Fix your technology and fix is quickly
  3. User Interface
    The retro Web 1.0 UI may have been "interesting" and some people like it. But I guess more people like the rich UI of a Google+. Twitter: Make your UI more pleasant and do that quickly.
  4. User Behavior Management
    Well – it is a bad user behavior to automatically post stuff on Twitter. And I even un-followed friends because of it. Twitter is a social anarchy where everything is possible – as long as you have an account. Some people however pissed Twitter off and then you loose your account with no warning and sometimes not even an idea why (I speak from experience) I know they try hard to get the discrepancy between automatism and conversation – but showing the number of quadro gazillion followers and making it indirectly a goal is just bad behavior. Twitter: Hire a sociologist or start listening to the more experienced social media students – you have about 10,000 top notch people in your ecosystem.
  5. Connection Structure & Search
    There is no way to professionally structure connections. Lists are a boring and clumsy mechanism. Sorting and finding the right connections in your own TwitterVerse is basically non existent. More so you may search people and you know they are there and Twitter won't find them. Something that is wanted since 2007 and was never really fixed. Search for older Tweets and you may or may not find them. Twitter: rearchitect your lists and make it easy for people to categorize and tag their friends.
  6. Technology Backend
    You may experience that all of a sudden you need your old password to get – well because the whole TwitterVerse is not very clean and sometimes old data just show up, old profile pictures and so forth. Clearly it isn't easy to build a robust network that is holding up to 100-200 Million users – but with over $200 Million in funding they should be able to do better than that :) Twitter: Hire a few real PROs and get your architecture fixed.

Why is it more serious than it looks like on the surface?

The number of users may still grow, the number of tweets may still grow. But the number of tweets that are read by humans is rapidly declining. The number of auto connections is rapidly increasing. The number of "blasts" and advertising is growing out of proportion. In other words the theoretic interaction volume may still grow – but the human interaction is moving elsewhere. I still do "tweets" because it is easy to hit the tweet button – but I do most of the "conversations" elsewhere :(

It would be a pity if we'd loose Twitter – but things are moving fast and Twitter needs to respond even faster. Let's hope that they get it and get it right. Twitter was a major and very important milestone in the social web development.




One Reply to “Twitter – between a rock and a hard place”

  1. I have to agree with you and further to the unhappiness? /concern of tweeps is the issue of accounts being hijacked and it being very difficult to get a response from the 'powers that be'  a friend had his 12K plus followers scooped when his handle was appropriated and quite a few of us openly tweeted to try to get him help.. days it took.. 
    When we comment or question an issue on Google+ it is amazing how quickly folks respond.. how the user is taken seriously and our needs/ wants/ issues are a matter of primary importance tot he Google+ Project Team. 
    I admit I too am loving all of G+ and find the issues on twitter to be uncomfortable to say the least.. 
    I beleive there is room for every platform on the Social Networking circuit. All platforms need to invest in Customer Service Excellence 1st. 
    Hey Twiiter!!!
    You really ought to take the pulse of the tweeps… pay attention- move ahead in a responsible and caring way and you too will remain a beloeved platform for users to interact with on a daily basis… barring a number of changes and soon I see twitter becoming a distant also-ran in the race for Social Networking Engagement. 

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