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February 2019
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Archive for the ‘twitter’ Category

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey last year made a definitive announcement about the company’s famous 140-character count amid rumors that the firm would substantially relax the limit. “It’s staying,” Dorsey told the “Today” show’s Matt Lauer. “It’s a good constraint for us.”

On Tuesday, the company took it back — for some people, at least.

Starting Tuesday, Twitter said, it’s testing a feature to let some users double the amount of characters allowed in a tweet. The 280-character limit will be available to a small group of people on the site. When asked for more information, Twitter said it would be a “single-digit percentage” of its 328 million users — so, millions —  who will be “randomly chosen.”

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Twitter is bringing 360-degree live video to its service courtesy of its Periscope live-streaming platform.

On Wednesday, Periscope announced the launch of live 360 video in partnership with a small group of popular users. Periscope says it will be rolling out the feature more widely over the coming weeks. The platform has even set up a waitlist that Periscope users can sign up to in order to learn when the feature drops.

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The other day, I was about to go to bed after a long day. And then an email came in from a close friend who happens to be one of my twitter followers. In the email, she was complaining about my spammy tweets. The klout.com-related +K tweets were singled out. She didn’t mince words, i.e., she said things like “It’s very annoying.” and “Please stop self-promoting.”

Klout logo

Instead of “don’t you think some of your followers might get annoyed?” or “might not the bunches of +K tweets appear as spam to some of your followers? because it appears to be self-promoting?”

There went my sleep. My mind immediately began organizing a defense, along the following lines: twitter is used for 2 fundamentally different purposes: (a) marketing, sales, etc., “self promotion”, or promotion of a company or whatever (b) people keeping in touch with friends. If you are using twitter for (a), sending out 1 tweet per week is not going to cut it… (dear reader, if you know of someone who is successful with their marketing on 1 tweet per week, please let me know and I’ll study how they use twitter and gladly learn from them!)  Then there might be folks like Stephen King who are already be famous through non-twitter means and don’t need to tweet much, if at all (I say “like Stephen King” not knowing if Mr King even has a twitter account, but just as an hypothetical example. If Mr King has a twitter account that spits out dozens of tweets per day, fine, then we pick another celebrity who rarely tweets and make my point with that other person!).

twitter logo

Specifically in defense of my klout.com +K tweets, my defense was that there’s also such a thing as “@mentions” where people use the @ sign (this is also something you can do on facebook too, btw). those tweets are directed at specific people e.g., @abc is directed at @abc. Most people who are familiar with twitter know what they are and ignore them (unless it is specifically directed to them) just like you would ignore a private conversation between two friends at a party even if you can physically hear them. The klout.com (+K) tweets are all @mentions that are little “thank yous”, etc. meant only for the recipients. others don’t have to eavesdrop. why would anybody else read them, much less get annoyed by them? there are twitter clients that can filter out stuff. some people use them.That helped to soothe my mind and let me get some sleep. The next day, however, upon further reflection, I realized that no matter what kind of defense I might have, and however legitimate it might appear in my mind, large number of twitter users might think the same way as my friend. These would be twitter users with the following type of profile:

  • use twitter to keep in touch with friends, plus maybe follow some “news” twitter accounts that deliver specific news updates once in a while, or even somewhat frequently (“your handle is the only one with +K tweets in my feed”)
  • treat their twitter feed like email, i.e., have to read it all, or at least scan it all, or like facebook, i.e., don’t have to read it all, but still get annoyed with seeing a lot of something they are not interested in, like game posts; perhaps this can be done when the number of accounts followed is small enough
  • don’t get the concept of @mentions (“I’m not eavesdropping, but it actually just shows up in my feed.” and “it’s really lame, if the mentions are only meant for the recipients, yet are broadcasted to the tweeter’s entire following”)
  • don’t know how to filter tweets using tweet clients, so, scroll through the whole feed and get annoyed (“I just can’t imagine anyone wanting that junk in their feed”)


Then it hit me – the problem is with twitter! Twitter is already a stripped down version of facebook, basically only providing for status updates. However, it is further stripped down by not having any of the following features that facebook provides:
  • sender-side filter controls, so whoever posts something can specify who it should go to
  • receiver-side filter controls, so you can control what gets in your feed


Granted, both types of controls could be improved, but at least they have been gradually changed (usually for the better) by facebook over time, whereas twitter has been doing .. nothing? And don’t tell me the twitter DMs and private tweets are the answer. These are too crude for many purposes and of limited value in general. One might argue that the twitter users profiled above (who don’t get the concept of @mentions, for instance) might just need to become more familiar with twitter culture, but twitter should realize this is a facebook-dominated world, and adapting to a certain style of twitter culture might not be that simple for many folks.

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