Why I still don’t like New Twitter

Blogging my complaints seems to attract attention and occasionally gets things fixed… it also makes it much easier to explain a problem than I can do in 140 characters on Twitter.  So here goes.

My big complaint about New Twitter is this: it doesn’t work.  And when it does work, it’s more effort (in the online world, an unnecessary extra click is not cool) to do what you did before.  I’ve had all these problems all along, which is why I stayed with Old Twitter as long as I could — Twitter forced everyone over to New Twitter this week.

I wish I had screen caps of Old Twitter to compare. But I don’t, so we’ll just go with this.

Retweets

This is the number one complaint I have, and really the only one worth saying anything about.  In Old Twitter, if you wanted to see who retweeted you (which is helpful in determining what tweets are resonating with people, and also in seeing who is actually engaged in your tweets – I’ve followed many an interesting person discovered through being retweeted), you clicked on the Retweets link, and they were all listed there, with the profile pictures of those who retweeted you immediately below.  You could immediately see how many people retweeted you, and hover over and see who retweeted you.

New Twitter looks like this:

I see all the tweets that have been retweeted — but not how many people retweeted them, or who.  To find out, I have to click on the tweet, which then shows, somewhere in the mass of information it provided, who retweeted me:

It gets worse when people reply to the tweet, as this sidebar thing shows both RTs and @replies — though sometimes one, the other, or both disappear as time goes on.

In addition to requiring an extra click, the bigger problem is that it’s glitchy.  I selected the tweet above because it works.  But watch what happens when I click on a different tweet:

It tells me that SOMEONE retweeted me — just not who.  This tends to happen to roughly 10-20% of the time.

If more than 10 people retweet you – you only see the ten most recent retweeters.

There are no other ways to get this information.

Finally, in Old Twitter you could hover over the profile picture of someone who retweeted you and it would tell you when they retweeted you. This was useful because it would let you know if a tweet was still resonating with people days later, and really helped out with figuring out how you were getting replies to a three-day-old tweet.  In new Twitter, you hover over the profile picture and it tells you the name of the user. You could click through to their profile, but it would involve some scrolling to find the tweet.

Another annoyance is that the mobile version of the Twitter website doesn’t let you see your retweets at all — and they recently changed it so that if you’re on a mobile there is no way you can switch to the standard site.  There used to be a link to switch between the two but now the link is gone, and any efforts to go to http://www.twitter.com will automatically redirect you to m.twitter.com.

Trending Topics

The first annoyance is these “promoted” trending topics – which are annoying and usually so long I can’t understand how you’d put anything else in the tweet with it.  Of course they’ve magically disappeared while I’m typing this, but those of you who use Twitter regularly know what I mean.

The beauty of trending topics is that they, in theory, are about the most current, informative, issues going on right now. That’s kind of the whole point of Twitter.  In Old Twitter, you clicked a trending topic and the latest tweets showed up.  This was incredibly useful whenever there was a major event going on in the world, or locally.  You find out what is going on right now, this instant.  Now what happens when you click a Trending Topic (or any hashtag, for that matter)?  This. (Click the photo to zoom – and see the times on the tweets)


You get the “top” tweets on the topic.  Along with some images and videos which are pretty.  So, rather than knowing what’s going on now, I find out what people think is most interesting, however that’s determined. I can get the most recent tweets, but it involves clicking that drop-down box that says “top” and selecting “All.”  This is the first in many multiple-click features that used to be single-click ones.

Increased clicks

Clicking someone’s name in your timeline used to bring up their profile page immediately. Now it brings up a sidebar with a limited version of their profile.  I should add, this limited version of their profile always excludes retweets, even if they were the most recent things posted to their feed (which gives a distorted view if you’re trying to decide whether to follow that person and want to see what will end up in your feed).

That link in the corner brings you to their full profile.

Reporting spammers in Old Twitter used to be a single-click link directly on the right side of their profile page.  Now you have to click a drop-down menu and select Report for Spam.

Combine that with the extra click to get to their profile to begin with (I often check to see if there are other spam tweets on their feed, to confirm they’re not just a little … eccentric), and you’ve added two clicks to the process.

I also briefly encountered a glitch where clicking the “Block and report for spam” link actually FOLLOWED the person.  Thankfully it hasn’t recurred. But that was obviously a fail.

I was about to write about the people search function – but they seem to have fixed that now. It used to take forever to search for a person – but they’ve now created a sidebar on the main search for “people.”

Geotagging

They added geotagging to the web version of New Twitter — I’m pretty sure it existed in Old Twitter too.  In Canada, it can usually detect roughly where you are based on your IP Address (just like WordPress will do when I post this entry from Australia).  In Australia, it not only says “Unknown Location” but it doesn’t recognise any cities here.  The most specific you can be is “Australia.”  I tried Woolloomooloo, then Sydney, then New South Wales, but no. Just Australia.

 

PS – I’m well aware this is a #firstworldproblem.  It’s just a comment on the user-friendliness of the site – which used to be simple and easy and is becoming increasingly less user-friendly.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Peter Couch on 2012/01/15 at 7:37 am

    Hello nealjennings;

    Nice post. I agree to your Point1 of inability to track retweeted. However, off late I have seen some websites helping users to track retweeted. http://timelinetweets.com/ is one such website which helps you in track your tweets retweeted.
    I hope this also other users too who are looking for such information.

    Reply

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