Please don’t change MY Twitter

Many changes afoot at Twitter.

Dear Twitter, The reason everyone uses someone else’s apps for Twitter instead of yours or your web interface – it’s because they are BETTER.

Best from the Rest

TweetDeck. Used to be awesome, which is why I use the old pre-Twitter buyout build. It allows for: Scheduling, I time-shift my reading, and schedule tweets so as not to bombard all 14 followers who might be paying attention; Organizing by lists, groups, searches into columns; and Filtering by apps, which is my favorite old feature; my stream doesn’t include FourSquare updates and Paper.li and I like it that way.

HootSuite. Pretty good, does a lot of the things TD does like handling multiple accounts. It also allows me to ‘automate’ the one blog feed I know I’ll promote – mine.

Though I wish I could clear mentions and messages I’ve seen, it has a nice interface for reading, organizing, scheduling and a solid iPad app. It also includes someone’s Klout score in their profile, if you’re into that sorta thing.

Twitter bought TweetDeck because it was so popular. TweetDeck was popular because it was powerful, gave users a variety of options and controls. Twitter then ruined TweetDeck – it stripped away the very flexibility and customization that made it a hit. Boo.

Have it MY way.

Companies like Buffer and HootSuite, they’re getting marketing types to pay for Pro versions. Is it a matter of user fees, like App.net seems to think?

Ads supported by eyeballs? Back-end features for the brands plying their wares? Plenty have written, myself included, posts about Twitter’s impending demise and the moves they could make to stop it.

Reclaiming control of their API – this is supposedly how Twitter will make money, by killing its openness.

Who knows? What I do know is that Twitter seems set on defining what it should be and should not be – for the user. It’s kinda like giving me a dozen eggs, but telling me I can only use them for omelets, no cookies or cakes or french toast allowed.

From where I sit, that’s the wrong move. I think Twitter needs to let us decide what OUR Twitters will be and – in ancient news, then figure out how to make that profitable.

Maybe Twitter is a news service; maybe it’s a microblog; maybe it’s something totally different. Maybe an ‘active’ not-fake user IS someone who just reads but seldom tweets. And maybe some of us want to link with other networks, use other apps and clients. Certainly that mileage will vary.

FWIW MY Twitter would let me decide what’s noise, what “via” apps to filter; how to best connect with others, what I want to automate, what I will do myself, and what apps and services I’ll use to get the most out of Twitter. If I had enough options to make it truly mine and work for me, I might even pay to use an ‘official’ Twitter.

Are these 3rd-party crackdowns salting your Twitter game? If it changes too much from what YOU like, would you stop using it? 

Photo Credit: Geek and Poke, some of the best tech comics around.

Comments (8) | Trackback

8 Responses to “Please don’t change MY Twitter”

  1. Great writing about what used to be my favorite third-party app for Twitter. Back in the day, when everyone tweeted at night and we bantered and had some awesome ‘raderie. I miss those days so much; I think, though, no one has time any more with all these apps people are trying to learn and engage on.

    I pay for Hootsuite because I have multiple client accounts I post to; that flexibility is worth it to me.

    Twitter has changed so much and Facebook is worthless (for me), and i think LinkedIn is ultimately the best social media channel ever.
    Jayme Soulati recently posted..Tomorrow’s Tech Today For Bodies and Homes

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    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    I hear you on LinkedIn Jayme – I really, really need to use it more and of course, use new groups to meet different, non comms people. Like G+ – for the SEO, but like FB I can’t see a reason beyond that to do a page for my biz .. it’d be empty. So my page it is, need to use it more too – and would if it had a better dashboard, better way to see a snapshot all at once. That 1-column stream just won’t cut it as your circles grow.

    I still tweet w/ people, but it’s become even harder to cut through all the noise. (I so like the TD filters for blocking some of it). And FB – just not comfortable being ‘biz’ there, still don’t see the need for a page or subscriptions – so what, my few ‘biz’ friends would get an autofeed of blog posts? But then again, when I do make a biz connection they are sometimes more available, more ‘social’ there. IDK.

    And though I need to do it more myself (b/c I barely do it at all) .. I just don’t like the OVERLY self-promoting hype, the practice of it has become even more unseemly. It’s really turned me off on a lot of social because that’s ALL I see now – everyone automating their crap (and their ‘clique’ of friends’ crap) to autopost on 4 different stations, 5 times a day, via 7 different feed channels. It’s become more programmed, gamed – w/ no one taking the time to actually be social. The ‘no time’ is a big part, the so many apps and networks to learn too, and that pressure for returns, conversion .. sigh.

    Thanks for reading, listening to my rants. :-)

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  2. Adam says:

    Davina, it’s always tough with free services like Twitter (which I love) and Facebook (which, not so much). They get into the game, using other people’s money, and then say we’ll figure out how to monetize later. The catch, of course, is since they didn’t have a plan in the first place, adding one after the fact is not that easy.

    I love HootSuite, and can say that I would not be nearly as active on Twitter without it. Twitter should understand the role these 3rd party apps have played and continue to play in their service’s popularity.
    Adam recently posted..7 Customer Service Qualifications Everyone Must Have

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    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    That’s the thing – you build an audience, a fan base with the ‘free’ but it’s really the other apps that are doing all the work, showing users what these can really do – and what you’re not. I mean, when 1 out of 4 users never hits the website, never does anything that’s not mobile – ok, figure out how to monetize that, maybe partner w/ the location/deal services.

    I would be in a pickle w/out the option to schedule some tweets; and my (old) TD is so much more better since it’s organized and filtered – and make it worth it to me. IDK maybe they need to rethink promotion and advertising, but yes certainly – find ways to make money. I just don’t want that to come at their own expense or hurt the very popularity they’re trying to grow. FWIW.

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  3. Davina, I don’t pay for Hootsuite but I might some day. And if Twitter strong-arms them I’ll scream. I love the “Hootlet” extension for Chrome, it makes my life much easier.

    I have no idea about what’s best for Twitter. They have investors to please. But if they screw with and lose their end users, that would hurt the investors too. If some Monday morning quarterbackseat driver KNOWS exactly what they should do, I’d like to hear it. I’m awfully glad Twitter and Hootsuite are free, interesting and useful. Hope they stay that way.
    Barrett Rossie recently posted..My Horrible Blog Post

    [Reply]

    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    You’re right about the users being the core Barrett – and you are already seeing a lot of social backlash and burnout. I just think too many changes of the unwelcome, non-improvement variety will drive many of us elsewhere. They’ve got something that people (and marketers) like to use; they need to keep it going (and growing) – then figure out the money part. Maybe they do know what they’re doing, guess we’ll see. FWIW.

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  4. John Barnett says:

    Davina,

    Great post. I wish folks would learn to leave well enough alone. But they LOVE to change things. Twitter and Facebook are great examples. And a lot of their changes are just sharpening the knife for the golden goose.

    My Twitter would be similar to yours — although I’m not sure how much automation I would want. I don’t know that a paid Twitter would do very well since those of us who fall into the “cheap/miserly” category would bail for something else. I would prefer tools that help effective engagement and tracking vice getting nickeled and dimed by Hootsuite.

    I fear that monetizing every aspect of social media ultimately turns people off, and Twitter et al should be looking at steady, measured approaches that preserve the platform, the customer base, and thus the business. But it’s still early in the morning, and I may just be too cranky and without caffeine.

    John

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    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    John, I host my own blog, but don’t pay for HS or anything social – yet – b/c I’m probably more miserly than you and am waiting to see what would truly be worth it. I’d want the analytics but mostly I want controls – if I’ve clicked on a link already, couldn’t I find a way to filter it when it repeats in my stream 214 more times? IDK if that’s possible, but again – the reason the open API helped Twitter grow was b/c these 3rd party apps made it better, made it better my letting us customize when/where/how we’d use it.

    Twitter, FB, Pinterest – they’re building followings, fan bases by giving away ‘free’ platforms. The idea being to then sell US – our data, our eyeballs – to advertisers. I know so many people who hate FB Timeline, hate some of the web Twitter changes – and plenty of SM hold-outs b/c they don’t want to trust their privacy with the networks. We’re the non-paying ‘customers’ – but really they’re not changing to improve things for us, so much as to make themselves profitable. It’s business and I totally get that. They’re going after the big brands, those w/ $$ to spend. It’s the right strategy, but .. we’re banner blind and we fast forward commercials as we time shift; so I don’t see that model holding. (See also news orgs waiting way too long to put up pay walls, figure out how to optimize online ads.) Maybe one day I’ll come up with a magic solution, make my millions and retire in style. ;-) FWIW.

    [Reply]

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