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Greg McVerry

#RIPTwitter? Fanatical Fans need a better Funeral

The end of the chronological timeline means nothing for most people complaining about the change. For those who may not know last week the Internet

3 min read

The end of the chronological timeline means nothing for most people complaining about the change. For those who may not know last week the Internet blew up when rumors swirled of an algorithim based timeline over at Twitter.

It came out today. For those loudest during the protest please stop talking. You have not been to the Twiiter web applciation in years. You do not use the official Twitter app on your phone. This change is not meant for you.

In fact your home feed has been pretty much useless since 2009. You may dip your toes into the stream when you have a second, but when you follow more than a few hundred people the stream is too fast.

You should not care about changes to the Twitter Timeline because you use tools like Tweetdeck or Tweetbot. You have 37 columns open and use 13 lists of of the different "-ists" you follow.

The changes to Twitter are for new users. To those complaining have you actually tried to onboard someone to Twitter?

Twitter Onboarding. Its Hard.

I have introduced and trained literally hundreds of new users to Twitter. I can firmly say for most people the onboarding sucks and they will abandon Twitter soon.Β 

At and different conferences around the country I have run Twitter 101 and Twitter 102 sessions (except the year when I presented, "Why Google+ Kicks Twitter's ass a PLN" that one wrong). We take never before users and turn them from eggs into active accounts.

And we have it easy. EduTwitter comes with community baked in. There are hundreds of well established hashtags and dozens of weekly chats that occur on a regularly scheduled basis. We Β tell users follow ideas not people. Ignore follower counts and find hashtags.

Now think about a normal user. Someone who saw a hashtag on the Super Bowl and wanted to jump into the conversation. They sign up in their living room. They go through the "onboarding" process provided by Twitter. Then the user is lost. They are introduced to a blank timeline or followed a few celeberties suggested by Twitter. Maybe a friend or two.Β 

They will log into Twitter every day but rarely Tweet. To most norms Twitter will be a source of news and entertainment and not a community platform. For these users and the future of Twitter an algorithmic timeline makes sense.

For the rest of us there is Tweetdeck.

So you want a place to direct your rage? How about the lack of a mobile Tweetdeck client. I am "forced" to use third party clients because the Twitter app is useless for power users.

Maybe that should be the point. Let an ecosystem of thrid party developers resetablish itself to support Power Users. Open up the API even further. License (and profit from) access to the full firehose. We will, just like when Twitter was created, find interesting new ways to push the boundaries of what Twitter can do.

I personally welcome the algorithmic change to Twitter mainly because I know I will never see it and it was never meant for me.


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