Simon Says: New Twitter is a Step in the Right Direction


Dear Jack,

Love the new twitter - I really do. Since I joined the website just over a year ago you've been my favourite way of actually networking online. You beat Facebook and LinkedIn by a country mile.

Almost over night you became my new discovery engine - I still argue Twitter has and will continue to have a massive impact on social bookmarking tools. And with the new app I have fallen in love with you all over again.

When you love something enough you see all of its faults. You just look past them and concentrate on what attracted you to the service. But seeing as you tweeted asking for suggestions on how you can improve I thought I would write you a letter.

First thing most people, brands and agencies are crying out for is scheduled tweets. There's a million and one services that do this, but not twitter itself. Can't we have a simple method of planning updates in our mobile / desktop accounts?

A close second is analytics for tweets. I am constantly trying to work out the value of a tweet. From its reach, to click throughs to how many people just read it. You took a giant jump in the right direction by showing how many (and who) favourited / retweeted tweets in the new iPhone app, but I want to know how many views it got, how far the extended reach is from the RTs / favourites and maybe even a cool map of where these people are from... 

Lists are by far the best feature you implemented in a while. Being able to create streams of information helped balance the information overload people were experiencing. In the new app it is near impossible to add accounts to lists, can you make this easier / possible?

A feed of RTs was one of the best discovery methods in "old twitter". I liked being able to see just what my friends thought was worth sharing in a cool feed. Can you bring back the RTs by the people I follow as a List for users? It was such a simple idea, but so useful.

My "suggestions who to follow" are never accurate. They are based on a similar algorithm to Facebooks "who you might know". The difference here is I might know this person, so I'll friend them and we'll never talk. On twitter, I'll only follow someone if I am interested in what they have to say. If I tweet about a place or brand why not have those accounts appear in my "who to follow". It'll help drive interactions and keep people returning to the site as well as help validate the investment in social.

Bring back the "verification" badge. That's all.

Currently it's 9am in Montreal. I am sitting on a very comfy bed looking up things to do today. In London I'll tweet my friends or TimeOut and easily find things to do. Here, if I search for Montreal or Tweet for advice I get very little (if any) help or advice from the search results.

People geo-locate their tweets every day. And only when you find a tweet that has been tagged can you search for other tweets in that area... Why can't you have a location-based search function? It would help with crowd sourcing, make the data easier to filter through and more helpful for people and local businesses who might be advertising their events / offers through your platform. You can filter the search results to be "nearby" but what if I want to know what's going on in Downtown Montreal a week before I arrive? Can't I have a search operator which lets me search by keyword / area in the world? How awesome would that be?

Other than that the weather here is fine and the new twitter "trends" and "stories" help pass the flight as I wrote clever things to tweet when the plane landed.

Thanks for everything in the past year, I hope you'll help make my 2012 just a fruitful with opportunities,

Simon Caine.

Photo (cc) Scott Beale