Top 4 features Twitter should add — or kill

So, I love the Twitter, which is fun and useful, and have fallen out of love with the Book of Face, because it’s not very useful and has become rather Annoying.

Twitter

HOWEVER: There are things in Twitter that should be fixed, and features we desperately need to have.

Here they are.

Thing Number 4: Kill direct messages 

Kill it with fire. Nuke it from orbit. Go send Keanu Reeve through the Matrix to wipe DM’s from the face of the Twitterverse.

Why?

Because nobody sends them anymore, not unless they get hacked and spit out endless “U didn’t see them tapping u? http://spam.a.licious” messages.

Thing Number 3: Give unto us some LIVE CHAT already

One of the great things about Gmail is you can see your contacts on the left side of the screen, with little green dots for folks who are online, and with a single click, bam, you can live-chat your buddies.

Twitter needs this. You’re already on the Twitter, and so is your buddy, but after the third round of back-and-forth of Tweets and replies, it’s beyond clunky and you just want to do a live chat instead of waiting for Twitter to reload and such.

Live chat isn’t some kind of advanced alien technology.  Make your people happy. After you put a dagger in the heart of spammy direct messages, give us live chat, which is spam proof.

Thing Number 2: Separate the streams

Right now, Twitter gives us a single stream of tweets, and they fly by at the speed of light.

Even if you’ve got all your people categorized into separate lists and groups, and would like to check on folks that way, Twitter won’t let you.

Basically, they’ve crossed the streams. And crossing the streams is an achy breaky bad mistakey.

Sure, you can fire up Hootesuite and other apps that will let you see different streams of Tweets, as they are meant to be seen. Yet if you need Hootesuite to check different streams, then Social Bro to manage your lists, Buffer to schedule tweets and some other app to get a handle on all your contacts, that’s a flashing neon light that says Twitter needs fixing.

Thing Number 1: Give us easy ways to manage our peoples

Learn from email, please. It’s been around for a little while now, and we all know how to use it.

Don’t let us organize people into lists like “Thriller authors” and “Serious fans of Care Bear cartoons” without giving us an easy way of sending a tweet about Lee Child‘s latest novel only to those thriller authors, and not your Care Bear maniacs.

Don’t make it insanely difficult to sort through the list of people you follow, or who follow you, without wading through screen after screen. SocialBro has some really smart features, like sorting through people who haven’t tweeted in six months. Learn from that. Sock it to us.

It shouldn’t be insanely difficult to keep track of your favorite people. Gmail has a nice touch where it’ll list your 20-some most frequently emailed folks. Those are your people, right? Make it easy for users. Show everybody who tweets them the most, or retweets what they say. Don’t make us try to remember whether you spell it @batmanFANinLondon or @BATMANfanInLONDON when you’re trying to talk to the guy about what DC will do with the Justice League movie.

Also, distribution lists are smart and useful. Let us have them.

Make it easy and we will love you even more, Twitter.

Make it hard and we’ll keep on kludging together workarounds, using four other apps, as we wonder whether you’ll keep making smart decisions or follow Facebook down the path of the Dark Side, where stock options only head south after the IPO.

14 thoughts on “Top 4 features Twitter should add — or kill

      1. so, i have to ask then: what do you do when people who follow you on fb (i have a fan page) don’t tweet and don’t care and don’t wanna…? i love twitter, but all of the media outlets make my head spin. i can’t stand book face but as far as eventually being a published (self or not) writer, it’s sorta… necessary.

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  1. Don’t you think, though, that in expressing ourselves via something called a tweet we are helping to trivialize communication in general? Does anyone else worry it might be the last nail in the coffin? Sorry to be so doomsday, but doom avoidance factors big for me (which is why I only read your blog twice a week.) If twitter could come up with a more dignified term for it, I’d be so there.

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  2. I disagree with almost all your points! 😛 I love DM messages, especially when it comes to community gossip, planning or sharing private information across the atlantic – such as email and phone numbers.

    I HATE live chat. If I wanted to live chat with people, I’d log into Skype or MSN (if people still use that). I don’t want to be pestered or heckled by people knowing when I’m online – especially with TweetDeck, which I never turn off.

    I don’t have problems cross streaming – it just works for me. Twitter DOES let you check! Tweetdeck.

    The final point makes sense though. It is annoying that you can’t update multiple people at once with about a singular topic that is relevant to them. But as for finding who you talk to most, shouldn’t you come to remember their username or name if you contact each other enough? 😛 Anyway, Tweetdeck preempts who I want to message and gives me a list of all the people I speak to the most. Basically: Tweetdeck (which is also an app for smartphones).

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    1. Tweetdeck rocks.

      DM stinks.

      Twitter should steal from Tweetdeck (and SocialBro and all the other apps).

      Different contact lists for email, Twitter, Facebook, etc are a pain in the petunia. We need ONE set of contacts that’s easily managed and includes distribution lists.

      Also, I want the Twitter power of superblocking, where not only is somebody annoying wiped from my Twitter feed, but Keanu Reeves is sent through the Matrix to banish them from the Series of Tubes forever.

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  3. I enjoy FB and Twitter, but for very different reasons. FB is good for catching up with family & old friends. Twitter is great for networking and meeting new people.

    BTW, your crossing streams comment had me giggling. Where I grew up that usually referred to urinary indiscretions…

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  4. I actually prefer Facebook. I’m ready to kiss The Twitter goodbye. Too cumbersome and the spammy DM’s are driving me nuts. I’d use Google+ more, but I’ve never made time to familiarize myself with it properly so I mostly stumble around on it.

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  5. You know, this Thing One is a Thing G+ does very well (not that I’m very happy about drinking the Google koolaid), I fear I’ve been absent from most social media because I’m actually like…writing stuff and even in TweetDeck, with columns, the stream it scrolls like a flasback in a bad ’80s MoftheTV music video. Circles are easy to switch peeps to and from and messages can go out to all, this circle and that circle, or just that one person you’re stalking following.

    As for Thing Two, Three and Four, Yes. I join in that applause, and raise my lighted Bic to wave it slowly over my head and sing something from Duran Duran.

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  6. Oh! Oh! Oh! Thank you for stating what should be so obvious to twitter-licious. I ignore the main stream. Makes me feel like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike. I hate DM with a passion. And trying to tweet to specific people is an issue– because if I haven’t tweeted to them in a while I can’t find their address anywhere.
    FB… I’m so happy I kissed that sucker goodbye!

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