Here’s what Twitter should do to fix itself
Twitter is great. It has always been fundamental in the social world. A stream of 140 character tweets providing the world with instant communication and real-time news.
But, that isn’t enough anymore. Cracks have begun to show. Profile attacks and fake news sources have left a long-lasting dent in Twitter’s reputation.
Let’s be honest, compared to the other social giants Twitter is dormant, bland, a sorry story. Like the cup of tea that was forgotten, gone cold.
If Twitter is going to survive the next couple of years, it needs to start rolling out new features.
Here are just a few things the platform could (should) be doing to compete with the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat who basically roll something new out every couple of weeks.
#1 Troll Problem
Twitter hasn’t been particularly successful in solving its harassment problems. The platform has a toxic atmosphere, with internet trolls just waiting to pounce. Who would want to be active on a social platform when you’re subject to online abuse? Not exactly great for user experience and retention.
A solution? Structure and organisation. Categorise replies into friend replies and random replies. Friend replies are automatically posted, random replies hidden. Meaning the dark side of Twitter is at least, partially hidden.
Solutions like this could help user experiences making Twitter streams more inviting, polite and approachable.
Twitter needs to prove that it can keep up with the rate of development going on in its industry.
It’s 2017, let us edit a tweet once it’s posted.
Although this is a feature that will improve the experience of many users, developing an edit button would require a changelog, and it could potentially worsen trust issues with the site. Twitter would also need to implement a revision history so edits aren’t removed from public record.
So there are pros and cons but with such high demand it looks hopeful, Jack Dorsey said so himself…
Edit: clearest ask was to provide a quick way to fix errors. Anything beyond requires showing edit history given tweets are public record
— jack 🌍🌏🌎 (@jack) December 30, 2016
Filtered timelines, easier navigation to follow interest topics, join groups, and the ability to bookmark tweets are just a few features that would also make for a cleaner and seamless Twitter experience. Developments like these would make it so much easier for people to track what is being discussed, and follow terms and sentiments as they change.
What is that Twitter has that other social giants doesn’t have? Why would users go to Twitter when all of their friends’ conversations are on Facebook and Snapchat? Why would young people try to be ‘Twitter stars’ when they can quickly become influencers on Instagram? Instagram and Snapchat offer us the ability to closely follow our favourite celebrities through video content, meaning Twitter has lost its most valuable USP.
Does Twitter have moments or is it an explore tab? What does that tab mean these days?
Back in October, Twitter came under fire for making its service more confusing with an update that removes people’s Twitter handles in tweets that are in reply to a thread. Obviously, this update did not go down well as it faced claims that it could be another advantage to online trolls.
Just a few days ago Twitter added a new notification/list feature… But within the first two hours, they tracked back and removed it. It’s tiring trying to keep up with what’s what.
We heard your feedback – this was a misstep. We’re rolling back the change and we’ll keep listening. https://t.co/9ozPS4XlVI
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) February 13, 2017
Twitter has a huge open platform made up entirely of their own users. They could have carried out a poll to decipher whether or not the changes were what people wanted.
Instead, they wasted countless hours of development time as well as the cost of rolling out a new feature only to embarrassingly have to roll it back two hours later.
Not only is that a waste of time but it confirms suspicions that they are out of touch of what their users want.
Lots of people might know what the little blue bird represents, but they’re not sure on how to use it. The See What’s Happening campaign was a good start, but it is just that. A start.
It is obviously great that Twitter is listening to customer feedback but I mean at this rate, will it all be worth it?
Twitter’s competitors have well and truly overtaken the company with monthly active users. Not to mention that Facebook is in a whole different league of its own…
You will find more statistics at Statista
The bad news doesn’t end there, in the 4th quarter of 2016 Twitter’s revenue grew by LESS than 1% and advertising sales have declined.
You will find more statistics at Statista
I honestly have no idea where Twitter is going to place in the ranks by 2018. One thing is for sure, Twitter is running out of time.
For me personally, I’m an Instagram and Snapchat girl… The more visual, the better. But professionally, Twitter is fab. It’s still a great platform to start a conversation, create a buzz, and check up on what’s hot this week.
Although, I did go straight to Twitter to check out Trump’s “I’ll see you in court” tantrum, watch the full trailer of Beauty & the Beast, and to watch Adele’s heartfelt Grammy’s speech to Beyoncé.
So perhaps I should eat my words? Maybe I’m being too harsh. The structure and organisation of the site could be improved for user experience, that’s for certain. But in terms of discovery, Twitter is one of the best places to look for content when you don’t know what the source is, or when you can’t be bothered to search through Google.
What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments below, or let us know @HarvestDigital.