The #fixreplies Kerfuffle

TwitterUpdate: After almost a week of testing out this “| ” @ reply concept, I heard from a large group of my followers that this is NOT what they want. The consensus seems to be that individual users want to be able to make their own choice as to if they see these replies or not. Makes sense.

Apologies for being slow on the draw, but this is insane. I didn’t really realize what was going on because I was always on the inside looking in – I was in the “power user” 3%, but following some 40k or so people meant that I always saw some @replies flying around. I thought people were taking this update a little too seriously and kind of brushed it off.

Also, going in, I thought the “show all @ replies” meant that I would see BOTH sides of the conversation (which was incorrect). This further clouded my vision on what was going on, plus there were a few blogs that told the wrong story – I guess I was confused.¬†ReadWriteWeb, like always, has a¬†great analysis of this which I did read, but I should have paid more attention.

I thought, well Twitter should just flip the switch to make the default “show all @ replies” for everyone – take the 3% route instead of the 97% route. This would show everyone BOTH sides of the conversation (which is not correct) and everyone would be happy. But if everyone saw both sides of the conversation, people could inject spam into the million follower club and all hell would break loose! (This is when I realized the BOTH sides thing was totally incorrect, which lead me to shoot up in bed and come down here to write this post).

I logged into my test account and looked at my regular account stream, only to find that it was BORING AS HELL! I have a ton of conversation using my regular account and that is what puts context around my tweets. I tweet some lame stuff sometimes and people ask me about it so I do my best to follow up with those users, not realizing no one else is seeing these tweets.

Twitter waffled on the decision a bit and made a totally lame argument for why this was being done (lame technical and lame UX arguments), made a lame attempt to remedy the situation in the short term, and made a lame promise for the future:

Second, we’ve started designing a new feature which will give folks far more control over what they see from the accounts they follow. This will be a per-user setting and it will take a bit longer to put together but not too long and we’re already working on it.

This future “per-user setting” invalidates their previous technical argument (and the UX argument). What is going on?

From here on out, please prepend all @ replies with a pipe “| ” so we aren’t forced to live in Twitter’s fantasy land. This doesn’t seem to work on all platforms, just make sure your post is not “in reply to”.

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