The Real Reasons Why Twitter Reply Option Was Underused

In: Social Networking|Twitter

14 May 2009

Everybody in Twitterverse would know already by now about the trouble that Twitter is getting when they decided to change one of its setting.  A setting that, on the contrary of what Twitter thought, was used (and loved) by many users as one of the tools to discover new people to follow.

One of the reasons why Twitter change this reply policy, was of a technical nature.  Which I can understand, seeing that trafficking those replies around are, as you can probably imagine, very expensive activity and put a lot of burden to the server.  But one other reason was apparently only 2% of Twitter users were using the so-called discovery option setting.

This reason for me was not a strong enough to warrant the deletion of the setting.  Especially if we really think about why there were only 2% of users was using this option!

No, it’s not because they didn’t want to clutter their Timeline with one-sided conversation, or they couldn’t be bother to listen to people that they didn’t follow.  In majority of the cases, the real reasons are:

1. They didn’t know such options existed!

Just now, I’ve had a conversation with one of my Twitter friend about this setting change issue, and he confessed to me that he didn’t know that there was such settings existed.  Any newbie who join Twitter for the first time will be overwhelmed with the basics.  It takes some time to understand how status update works, what the following/follower mechanism is, and what are the impacts of these relationships toward replies and DM.  Most of these basics have already ate up their time, there was no way that they would touch the replies setting any soon.  So what happened? They left it on the default option setting!

2. Even if they knew it existed, they didn’t understand what those options really meant!

Heck, even myself, not until this afternoon have I fully understood what those options meant.  So for most of us, again, we just left it on default.

3. Some of the new users went straight to use Desktop Application soon after they join.

Which means they hardly ever touched their Twitter page anymore.  They didn’t need to.  Again, the option was left at default, and forever fogotten.

So, to say that these options were underused as the reason for the change, didn’t feel right for me.  It’s underused because it was not fully understood, hence neglected, left alone.

Fortnately, Twitter has been listening to its users and reacted quickly.  Although from what I read, the new solution, at least for me, will only solve half of the original problem, i.e. discovering new people.

Be Sociable, Share!

3 Responses to The Real Reasons Why Twitter Reply Option Was Underused


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

May 15th, 2009 at 11:04

[...] 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 [...]


Brace for Impact! Facebook Walled-Garden Is Finally Coming Down! - Media Sosial

June 25th, 2009 at 00:13

[...] Now, I’ve read the announcement post a couple of times, and I couldn’t seem to find any references where it says that Facebook will do such a thing, and I really hope that they won’t repeat Twitter’s mistake. [...]


xem tuoi vo chong

May 4th, 2019 at 03:40

Comment Form

#Mass Moonwalk – The Story