No More Serendipitous Encounter for Twitter (Not Like This Anyway)

In: Social Networking|Twitter

15 May 2009

This week the weather at Twitterverse has been clouded by the sudden decision from Twitter to scrap one of the settings option, which enabled users to see in their timeline replies from one user that they followed to other user that they didn’t follow.
Initially, Twitter argued that because only a small percentage (3% apparently) of Twitter users who were using this option, it was logical for them to get rid off this setting (though I argued that this is not the users’ fault).
What Twitter didn’t realize was that this 3% were passionate with this setting and as a matter of fact relying on it to find new people to follow.
After some intensive campaign from a many users which even had it’s own hastag #fixreplies, Twitter Co-founder Biz Stone (@biz) quickly wrote a new post explaining that in fact there was another reason for the setting to be changed, and that the reason was a technical one.
Today I’ve read in Twitter’s blog, that Biz Stone wrote another post, first apologizing to the users on the fact that basically they screwed-up in communicating the change; that they should’ve explained the reason of the change much better; and that they were and always be listening to what the users have to say.
The most important thing for me from this post though, is what he wrote and I quote:

For the 3% who wanted to see replies to people they don’t follow, we cannot turn this setting back on in its original form for technical reasons and we won’t rebuild it exactly the same for product design reasons.

Bummer! You see, I am one of this 3% of users who were using the option extensively to find new people to follow.  25% of my new following came from these Serendipitous Encounter that I had when one of the people I followed was having conversation with other user I had not followed.

To be fair, Stone then followed this statement with a long technical explanation on why they were forced to do this.  As a programmer myself, I can understand their stand-point, they needed to sacrifice the few to satisfied the many.

I really hope that Twitter will find an alternative way that has similar effect to this, without sacrificing the stability of their application.

But for now … so long for Serendipitous Encounters, I’m going to miss you very much!

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2 Responses to No More Serendipitous Encounter for Twitter (Not Like This Anyway)

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May 20th, 2009 at 00:41

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November 15th, 2009 at 23:36

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