Twitter – great service, site could do better

I’ve been playing around with Twitter recently as a lot of people have. And I think like many, not using is very heavily but dipping a toe in the water to see how useful it might first…

Anyway, as a service, it has it’s uses yes, but I find the way the system displays and is delivered on the website leaves something to be desired.

1. Once you’ve started ‘following’ people, if you want to send a ‘reply’ or Direct Message to them, it can often be hard to remember their username, especially when most are not just their name. e.g. John Smith’s username is very unlikely to be JohnSmith. 36 of your friends are displayed in image thumbnail form on the page, but there’s no guarantee that your friend will be there if you have more than 36 friends – you can see all your friends in a list, but a heavy Twitter user might have hundreds of friends! Why not implement a simple search on the site, either an auto completing one or one that searches by their full name as well as username.

2. Make it easier to follow replies. On some third party applications, I think replies you receive can be identified against what they’re replying to, but not on Twitter.com. e.g. if you post 2 tweets and one is ‘Do you like cheese?’ and another is ‘Are you going out tonight? and someone replies ‘Yes’, what are they replying to? Maybe add a feature that lets you tag a reply to a particular tweet.

3. Recently the button seems to have disappeared that lets you see the stream of all recent tweets. If anyone can fill me in, great, but it should be that hard to find, it shows one of the strengths of Twitter after all, it’s immediate, shifting, streaming nature.

4. If you have two accounts and flit between one and the other, changing profile pictures, or doing numerous tweets, the actions are sometimes applied to the wrong accounts e.g. meant to post from one account, and it appears posted from the other. This might be due to caching or some similar issue on my connection here, but hey, would be interested to hear if others have had the same problem.

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