Episode 2.2 “Twitter”, the good, the bad and the features to add
Welcome back to ProdActivity! The show where we analyse and review software products/apps/websites and what activities can be done to make them better. So, in this episode we are analysing Twitter, the tool that millions of people use daily. Without further ado, lets get started with Season 2, episode 2:
“Twitter” — the good, the bad and the features to add!
What is Twitter first and foremost? Twitter is a microblogging type social media, where a user shares a tweet about any topic he or she would like, limited by 280 characters only. It was launched in 2006 and currently has more than 300 million users registered. The key differentiator of twitter is that, it is extremely influential in the world of politics, media and show business. Celebrities and politicians often times can be seen making their announcements through twitter before any traditional media channels. A single hashtag can create a massive movement or a campaign, the strongest recent example being the # metoo movement. The tool is so popular because it is the raw source for news, without cuts, add on commentaries or edits, it is objective and from the core of the event/news.
So, now let’s dive into analysis, starting with the things that twitter does well.
We are starting with the app, although the desktop is almost exactly the same. Because twitter is mostly used on the mobile phone by the users.
- On the main feed things are easy and simple. No distractions. No clutter, just tweets and retweets. It is focused on just that functionality and it does it very well!
- Seeing or reading tweets based on their recentness or popularity can easily be adjusted with a filter on top.
- Retweets. meaning when people reshare other people’s tweets. are also shown nicely, with the original tweet at the core.
- The blue checkmark shows if the account or the author of the tweet is official and representing the person or the company they claim to be. This is especially important for organisations, celebrities and politicians, so that the fake accounts do not mislead people.
- Threads, meaning several tweets connected to each other, are easy to follow and read as well.
- One thing Twitter starting doing more, is the factchecking. Understanding it’s role and influence, twitter factchecks political tweets and warns the user about it.
- Similarly, if the user sees a news article shared by another user and wants to retweet it without reading, Twitter warns that the headlines may not display the full story.
- If the content in form of image or video may be sensitive, twitter makes sure to provide a sensitivity warning to other users.
- Creating a tweet itself is also easy. There is a separate button for this function, with which user can tweet various types of tweets from images to polls to plain texts. With nice visual in the right corner, you can predict how many characters left in the tweet. Also as easily you can keep adding new tweets to the original tweet, creating threads.
- Lets check how the search page works. Besides simple search bar, the first positive thing is the separation of the recommendations for the users and of the trending topics. Currently there is even a separate page for Covid19 updates and tweets.
- You can see the trending topics in different countries, as well as globally. This is incredibly useful tool for immigrants who are looking to get news from back home.
- Notifications page is just that, a simple minimalistic page showing notifications with likes, mentions and hot news.
- Another cool feature you will see on the menu is the ability to adjust the screen lightning from white to black. It can be one of them for the whole day, or automatically adjusted on the sunset.
- Finally, the settings page, where a user can adjust privacy and security settings is super simple as well.
- As you can see on the main page there is not much to talk about, it is a very focused platform. The profile section of the platform is even more minimalistic.
- It is easily accessible and is on top of the page when you need it. Although it disappears when you scroll down, with little scroll up, it reappears.
- You can share profile via a QR code with a simple tap.
- Twitter allows user to have multiple accounts, if needed and switch between them easily.
- In your profile section you have basic core info like name, surname, picture and bio, that you can edit.
- You can see your tweets and tweet replies separately (kind of), which makes UX much easier to engage.
- If you have unfinished tweets, they are saved as drafts.
- Besides tweets retweets and likes you can engage with users directly through messaging. It is the most basic messenger of any Social media channel I have ever seen with text, gifs and image attachment options. You have options to block, report and mute messages.
- There is a unique feature I have discovered today, called lists. You can create lists with favourite accounts to follow, but also profile shows the lists that people include you in for other to follow.
Now, we said all the good, is there any bad? Yes, there is:
- When you are seeing a thread on your feed, it may show the last one only which can become a misleading tweet without a context.
- There are too many fake accounts on twitter as well as countless bots. It is easy to create fakes and integrate bots. This creates a big credibility problem and can even affect big political events, such as in Turkey.
- People misuse the twitter, especially in authoritarian regimes, to create a smear campaigns or fake news campaigns.
- The term “lists” is not usual and may need a bit clarification.
- In profile instead of tweets and replies, would be good to have just replies, as it is confusing.
- What is the moments in the profile, that is confusing?
- 140 to 280 characters, the hot topic — bad or good it is very subjective, but the limit is required if we want Twitter simple. Thus, I want add it as bad.
With that being said, what are the features to add?
- I would add replies separately in the profile section
- Would have an option to automatically distribute large tweet into a thread
- I would show number of characters left in a tweet while writing, not just a circle. There is a space for it.
That is pretty much it, first things that came to my mind.
Today we tried to capture the analysis of Twitter platform and I hope you enjoyed it! Thanks a lot for reading and as always remember to check Anchor channel for audio version and check Teespring link in the description for apparel by GetGuided. Thanks for listening, stay safe, talk to you later.
Upd: A week after this episode, Twitter has added #fleets feature (basically a Snapchat/Instagram-like stories). Personally, I do not think, this was a good choice, but may be we will get used to it as we did with others.