• Get Jeff’s Posts

  • Reach Jeff by Phone

    Got a question? Call Jeff. 774-BROWN-11 (774-276-9611)
  • Jeff’s Tweets

  • Jeff’s Blog Archives

  • Featured in Alltop
  • Jeff’s Comments

  • Disclaimer

    The opinions expressed on this weblog are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.
  • Copyright

    Creative Commons License
    If you reprint a post on this site or repost it on your own blog or website, you must include the following attribution: © 2011, Jeffery D. Brown. Used by Permission. Originally posted at thejeffbrown.me.

I’m About to Kick Twitter In The Nads (I Want My Collateral Replies Back)

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.


And so was everyone else.  From @KrisColivin to @ConversationAge, all of Twitter is abuzz with what looks, on the surface, to be a monumentally DUMB decision on the part of Twitter.

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.


10 Responses

  1. True dat! I can easily ignore those @replies that are for randoms if I want or dig in if I’m in the mood to find interesting folks my friends are talking to. Grrr.


  2. Spot on. Thank you. Are you listening, Twitter? We want all the @replies.

  3. The stupidity of Twitter’s decision is astounding. It’s akin to the NYT only allowing you to see news articles written by your friends, but even then only if they’re about you.


  4. It looks to me like Tweets that begin with an @ reply, but are not actually replies, will still be seen in your feed; only tweets that are *linked to a prior tweet as a reply* will be suppressed. I believe linked replies is a feature of the API (that is not currently implemented by all Twitter clients). I believe the intention is that if you use a “reply” button in reference to a specific tweet, then your reply is linked to that tweet and would not be seen by non-followers of that person. This would not be as bad a situation as suppressing all tweets that begin with an @ mention, but it’s still problematic for many, and an option that should be restored for those who desire it.

  5. You’re exactly right Jeff. But as you pointed out, still a major problem and one that should be rectified.

  6. Some 12 hours since the change was made, I have a new thought: What if individual users could opt whether or not to view such replies on a per-user level?

    For instance, a major reason I don’t follow people with tens of thousands (and up) of followers is because of the mass individual replies. If you look at @APlusk, he replies to everyone, sometimes with one- or two-word answers. I don’t need to necessarily see this. But replies by someone else I may want to see.

  7. Excellent idea Ari. As difficult as Biz’s new blog post makes this all out to be though, I have my doubts as to whether or not they’re capable of pulling it off.

    I appreciate those who choose to respond via DM to such @replies (especially when the answer or conversation doesn’t add any value for the rest of the community). @MichaelHyatt is an excellent example of this.

  8. LMAO. Thanks for giving me props. I smell a T-shirt in the works. 😀

  9. Oh my gosh! Olivier Blanchard just commented on my latest blog post! I think I’ve died and gone to heaven!

  10. […] Jeff’s Comments John Haydon on We Love Your MomJeff on We Love Your MomJohn Haydon on We Love Your MomJoe Case on Amazing Grace: How Tweet the Sound?Jeff on I’m About to Kick Twitter In The Nads (I Want My Collateral Replies Back) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: