Tag Archive for ‘Social Network’

Questions in Your Timeline

If your Twitter timeline looks anything like mine, you probably see someone posing a question to their followers at least once or twice each day. Maybe you offer an answer or maybe you just scroll past because it’s a topic you’re unfamiliar with. Maybe you’re just too busy to find the answer or maybe you don’t know. Regardless, I think we should all strive to be more helpful to the folks in our timeline and give them a greater opportunity to find the answer they’re looking for.

I made a rule for myself a few years ago that I try my best to stick to:

Always answer if I can and retweet if I can’t.

I only have about four hundred followers on Twitter, but I can’t tell you how many times a retweet to my relatively small number of followers resulted in the surfacing of an answer. And I can’t tell you how appreciative I’ve been when someone retweeted my question to amplify its visibility.

We have the Internet at our fingertips — more information than you could ever imagine. But finding the correct answer to some obscure or specific questions are still far more difficult than you’d expect. That’s why people ask questions on social networks. Many of these tweets are a last resort after countless Google searches and YouTube videos that are unable to provide them with enough information.

Twitter users that have massive followings can probably get an answer to just about any question within a few minutes. But for everyone else, a retweet goes a long way to get an unanswered question to someone that can help.

Screwing Your Vocal Minority ➝

M.G. Siegler, with a great take on the Twitter API situation. I especially liked this bit:

What I think Twitter (and again, others) miss is that it’s not so much about the explicit influence, it’s far more implicit. And some of it is painfully obvious. It’s the fact that such users are often the most devoted, caring, and passionate ones. And sometimes, they’re at the forefront of what the rest of the user base will eventually feel because they’re so into the product. Other times they offer a power user perspective, which can be useful at times in showing how the product works (and doesn’t) in the ultimate “success state” of extreme usage. There are many other simple, subtle things that could be mentioned here.

It’s foolish to abandon users that contribute so much to the service.

Twitter Is Unifying Their API Platform ➝

Andy Piper, writing on Twitter’s weblog:

Later this year, we’ll be launching a new developer experience that combines the free and easy access of the standard REST and streaming APIs with the enterprise-grade power and reliability of Gnip. The goal is to create an integrated Twitter API platform that serves everyone, from an individual developer testing a new idea to Twitter’s largest enterprise partners. This will simplify and strengthen our developer platform so that anyone building with us can confidently create and scale their applications, products, and businesses.

I believe developer relations is a crucial component to the long-term sustainability of Twitter as a business. I just hope they manage to make this happen without pissing off too many developers.

Twitter Introduces Quality Filter to All Users ➝

Emil Leong, writing on Twitter’s weblog:

Last year we began testing a quality filter setting and we’re now rolling out a feature for everyone. When turned on, the filter can improve the quality of Tweets you see by using a variety of signals, such as account origin and behavior. Turning it on filters lower-quality content, like duplicate Tweets or content that appears to be automated, from your notifications and other parts of your Twitter experience.

I think this is a great change overall, but I still have concerns. My biggest fears are algorithmic false positives and employees of Twitter having the ability to flag accounts manually — potentially silencing users for dubious reasons. I have no indication that this will actually happen, but you can never be too sure about a feature like this.

Twitter to Stop Counting Photos and Links in 140-Character Limit ➝

Sarah Frier, reporting for Bloomberg:

The social media company will soon stop counting photos and links as part of its 140-character limit for messages, according to a person familiar with the matter. The change could happen in the next two weeks, said the person who asked not to be named because the decision isn’t yet public.

I’ve been very hesitant about Twitter making alterations to the 140-character limit. My biggest fear is that they’ll ruin what makes Twitter great — brevity. But this is a change I can get behind. Links take up about a sixth of the total character count and often feel too restricting when you’re trying to comment on the link or image you’re tweeting about.

I have two questions about the change, though. Will third-party client developers be able to get in on the action at launch? And, will there be measures in place to prevent spammers from filling their tweets with dozens of images or links?

Twitter Quietly Retires Magic Recs ➝

Ingrid Lunden, reporting for TechCrunch:

Twitter confirmed to TechCrunch it had stopped sending Magic Recs. It is now channelling recommendations through only one channel — native push notifications on your phone.

I’ve been following Magic Recs for nearly a year and I would typically receive one or two direct messages each week with a suggestion of a new user for me to follow. That ended in early March after it recommended Apple’s new support account. I hadn’t realized that Magic Recs went offline until a couple weeks ago when it dawned on me that I haven’t been receiving DMs from it. This is an especially unfortunate change for users like myself who use third-party clients to interact with Twitter — I’ll never see these push notification recommendations.

Peach, a Social Network from the Co-Founder of Vine ➝

Casey Newton, writing for The Verge:

There’s nothing particularly original about Peach, but it began taking off in a significant way on Friday. I started receiving friend requests by the dozens when I tweeted my username, something that never happened with Byte. The app is silly and a little bit dumb but also rather fun, and that’s often a combination that gets a social network to its first 100,000 users. It remains to be seen whether we’ll still be booping and quarantining one another after the weekend. But in the meantime, Peach is Friday’s hottest social network.

I signed up for Peach yesterday and honestly, I don’t really get it. I quipped last night that the new social network is like Twitter, but you have to visit each of your friends’ timelines individually. The ability to post doodles, GIFs, and send things like waves, boops, and hisses to your friends is neat. But I just don’t think it’s enough to keep people coming back to the service.

Twitter Introduces Public Policy Page ➝

Tom Tarantino, writing on Twitter’s official weblog:

Because Twitter stands for open communication, we’re pleased to unveil policy.twitter.com, our new site covering the most critical policy issues facing our users, as well as providing an unprecedented level of transparency into how and with whom we engage politically in the U.S. We hope to expand this feature to cover our global activities outside the U.S. soon. From here you can also visit our Twitter for Good page, which showcases the Public Policy team’s work on corporate social responsibility, and the Twitter Safety Center, where you can find tools and resources to help everyone have a safe, secure, and enjoyable Twitter experience.