Twitter does not understand discovery

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Twitter changed its @replies system which has a big impact on the one thing that adds the most value to networks: it disables the possibility to easily discover people you do not know: We’ve updated the Notices section of Settings to better reflect how folks are using Twitter regarding replies. Based on usage patterns and […]

Twitter changed its @replies system which has a big impact on the one thing that adds the most value to networks: it disables the possibility to easily discover people you do not know:

We’ve updated the Notices section of Settings to better reflect how
folks are using Twitter regarding replies. Based on usage patterns and
feedback, we’ve learned most people want to see when someone they
follow replies to another person they follow—it’s a good way to stay in
the loop. However, receiving one-sided fragments via replies sent to
folks you don’t follow in your time line is undesirable. Today’s update
removes this undesirable and confusing option.

This really a weird decision, and it is quite like @scotthepburn tweeted:

OMG! I’m in a bar and can only hear conversations between people I know! It’s so quiet! This place is lame…I’m leaving.

A situation like that will not add any value. It is great to overhear conversation and have the opportunity to tap in at the moment you like. If you do not know the conversation is there, you cannot tap in and you cannot add value. Is this therefore a killer feature from Twitter? Well it certainly kills a bit of value, you can only interact with people you follow and you know already. If somebody outside your network has an issue and is explaining this issue to somebody in your network and there is a conversation about it, you will not be able to help that person, since you do not know that there is actually a conversation. If for example Lee is interacting a lot with Davide, than I might want to follow Davide, since Lee and I share a lot of the same interests and therefore have an overlap in the people we follow. However thanks to Twitter I do not know with who Lee is interacting, the only people I see Lee is interacting with, is with the people I already know.

Please Twitter, fix the replies. (Retweet this)

Rick Mans is Information Architect and a social media evangelist within Capgemini. You can follow and connect with him via Twitter or Delicious

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