Even though I’m a lover of Twitter, there are still some annoying aspects that could really do with some improvement. While the last year has seen considerable improvement in the reliability and reduction of ‘Fail Whale’ episodes plus a new, and then another new interface, there is still some way to go to make Twitter a more dynamic and useful social platform.
One of the most common problems with Twitter is that for a brand new user it is quite confusing and daunting. Judging by the number of users who quit after just a short while, Twitter is still not so easy to grasp. For a long time I have cleared ‘inactive’ users from my stream on a weekly basis and see no reduction in the percentage of users who have quit Twitter after only a month or two of activity.
Twitter Search is still an absolute disaster area. Even in the advanced mode, the result are completely hit and miss. I have tried many times to find users in my own area by entering my town and a radius of 50 miles. The results always return a few in my district, but also 1,000’s of users from throughout the world. Searches by topic or keyword are nearly as bad with only the hashtag search being reasonably accurate.
One of the things you want to avoid on Twitter is annoying people. However, if you want to increase your network you simply must follow some users, and naturally unfollow some. But there is no way on Twitter to be able to ascertain if you have followed, and unfollowed someone before. This makes life extremely difficult. In my case, I naturally tend to follow people who have interests similar to mine. So if I come across someone interesting, I probably want to follow them. But have I followed them before? If I have, there’s a good chance I’ll annoy them with a new follow. This is one feature I would dearly like from Twitter.
Lastly. Twitter took over Tweetdeck nearly a year ago and promptly removed its iPad app with a promise of a brand new sparkling iPad app in the near future. Sadly, this near future has yet to arrive.