First off, I must acknowledge @thebrandbuilder who is responsible for the title of this post. He (Olivier) made that very comment in a tweet he wrote earlier tonight. For whatever reason, he was slow to understand exactly what the Twitter crew had managed to mess with regarding our Twitter experience, but once he got it he was pissed.
Previously, under the “Notices” section of the Twitter.com interface, you could choose whether or not you wanted to see every @reply sent by someone you followed (regardless of whether or not you followed the recipient) or just @replies sent to others you also followed.
Apparently, in his May 12th Twitter blog post ol’ Biz believes a lot of us were confused by these options. He even goes so far as to say, “receiving one-sided fragments via replies sent to folks you don’t follow in your timeline is undesirable.”
Says who? I say it’s one of the best ways of discovering new and interesting people to follow on Twitter, Biz? How often do you actually use your own service? And what about #followfriday when so many of us share with our followers new twitterers they might consider? If my #followfriday tweets begin with @someonemyfollowersdontknow, they’ll NEVER SEE THE FREAKIN’ TWEET!
@ConversationAge said it best:
And then she followed it with this gem:
Since I started this post, ol’ Biz has added an addendum to his blog post:
Discovery Still Possible
Spotting new folks in tweets is an interesting way to check out new profiles and find new people to follow. Despite this update, you’ll still see mentions or references linking to people you don’t follow. For example, you’ll continue to see, “Ev meeting with @biz about work stuff” even if you don’t follow @biz. We’ll be introducing better ways to discover and follow interesting accounts as we release more features in this space.
While this example may be true, and is an obvious attempt to quell the uproar, it still doesn’t solve the problem of not being able to see the tweet by someone I follow that BEGINS with @soandso when I don’t follow @soandso. Maybe I find these “one-sided fragments” interesting enough to click the “in reply to” link within the tweet. I discover more tweets from @soandso and decide to follow. That opportunity for discovery has been taken away.
My hope is the uproar is loud enough that Biz comes to his senses and puts the option back in.