Twitter and I used to be best buddies.
Our love affair goes all the way back to 2009 when I joined the micro-blogging services. Sure, there was some stumbling out of the gate (yes, I’m guilty of tweeting what I had for dinner), but once I got the hang of it I couldn’t get enough.
As someone who didn’t really blog before Twitter, joining Twitter was my first time sharing my thoughts with the world wide web in a public way, with my real name attached. But Twitter was more than just a broadcasting venue for me, it was also a place where I made some really great friends. Some of whom I still don’t know IRL (that’s In Real Life, for those of you who don’t have to write in a character limit).
But recently, Twitter announced some changes that I think will only further stiffle conversation between users, and make it hard to forge the types of relationships I did back in my early Twitter days.
Rumour has it, Twitter is rolling out an algorithim, similar to that of Facebook’s. Meaning you will no longer see everything from everyone you follow. Twitter will feed you what it thinks you want to see in your Twitter Timeline.
No thanks, Twitter.
See, back in my early days of Twitter, I used to read every single tweet from everyone I followed. I was constantly on the social network. Reading Twitter was the last thing I did when I went to bed, and the first thing I did when I woke up in the morning (by scrolling back to the time I had gone to sleep).
One of the things that makes me sad about Twitter, and its fickle nature, is how people can just disappear. When Twitter allowed users to download their Twitter archive, I began to read mine from my very first tweet, which was this earth-shattering observation.
getting her Twitter feet wet
— Sarah Foster (@fostersarah) January 7, 2009
A work of art, isn’t it?
Beyond the missteps, I also saw one-sided tweets as part of conversations I had with other users. Some of these users no longer use Twitter, and deactivated their accounts, so I can’t even see what the conversation was as a whole. That makes me sad.
Besides Twitter’s planned algorithm, it seems as though social media has just become so flat since it hit the mainstream. Now all anyone cares about is follower counts, and numbers. It’s not about the people behind the tweets, it’s about the reach those people have. If you even can measure that.
I don’t know that I’ll ever leave Twitter, but I know that my interest is definitely waning on all of these “new” features to entice new users, while seemingly alienating old users at the same time.