How Twitter Could Be Better

I’m a big fan of Twitter. I find that there is no better method or channel to share snippets of useful information. It’s also great for sharing what’s happening right now, for instance I can let my followers know about an event that I am attending or a restaurant I am visiting. Its immediacy also makes it a useful tool for tracking breaking news both locally and around the world.

Twitter has come a long way since I started using it in 2009. But sadly I’ve noticed a slow down in activity lately. Less people are seeing Twitter as an important social media channel, and those on Twitter are tweeting less and engaging less. I’ve even found myself using the platform less and less.

This is my most popular tweet ever, with over 30,000 impressions. Feel free to follow me 🙂

I realise that Twitter needs to focus on making money for their investors and have put energy into developing the advertising offering. To be honest, I’ve tried advertising on Twitter and find it to be a waste of time. Unless you have big budgets, you’ll see very little results. A budget of R100 spent on Facebook will get me some reasonable reach and engagement. The same budget spent on Twitter will get me basically nothing.

A few days ago, Twitter co-founder and CEO, Jack Dorsey, sent a tweet asking for suggestions on how Twitter could be improved. I thought I would give my input.

Twitter may be focused on monetising their product, but if people are not using it, nobody is going to advertise on it. So here are my tips from an everyday user on how the platform could be better. I could do a long list of nice to have features, but instead I’m doing a short list of features I think would dramatically improve the experience.

The single best improvement to Twitter has been the introduction of analytics. Being able to see the actual number of impressions and the engagement rate is really useful and is something I use a lot. But it’s virtually impossible to print decent reports without using a 3rd party service, so my first request is:

1. Being able to print or export reports on key metrics for specified time periods.

The other killer improvement was being able to have multiple accounts on your mobile device, so my second request is:

2. Multiple accounts on desktop version of Twitter

Twitter is  about tweeting. I love that we can add 4 images and gifs or videos to a tweet, and tagging up to 10 accounts is fantastic. But it would be great if we could

3. Tag accounts in video and gif tweets too.

But my strongest suggestion is to be able to

4. View the account we’re about to tag.

So often there are multiple similar accounts and I don’t know which one to use so I have to go out of my tweet and search for the correct account before going back and finishing the tweet. It’s VERY frustrating.

It would also be great if

5. The website link in a tweet did not count toward the 140 character limit.

And,

6. Being able to edit a tweet, even if it’s just for a short time after publishing, to correct errors.

I’m finding it more and more difficult to discover decent accounts to follow. There is a major flaw in the Connect feature in that it always suggests the same accounts. I want to be able to

7. Swipe away suggestions and have them never return (unless maybe I reset suggestions), but rather be replaced with more options.

8. I’d also like to be able to see easily which of those suggested accounts already follow me.

That’s it, 8 suggestions which I think would improve the Twitter user experience dramatically. I have more ideas, Jack can tweet me if he wants to hear them 🙂

Do you have any suggestions on how Twitter could be improved? Share them in the comments below, I’d be interested to hear them.

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2 Responses

  1. Russell says:

    These aren’t so much suggestions for how they can be better as they are criticisms of the platform based on my experience (I also started using it in 2009). I’ve always seen Twitter as a fast-flowing river of information; as a user you jump in by tweeting and those 140 characters are caught up in the river very quickly and flow down the stream very quickly. This makes it very hard to engage or be visible unless you’re a power user or a celebrity/influencer.

    They haven’t tackled spam meaningfully; this is a huge deterrent for me.

    Ads-wise I agree your budget is better spent elsewhere; it’s targeting is subpar in comparison to other platforms.

    • Dax says:

      The stream is very fast flowing, and they try to combat that by curating a selection of ‘what you missed’ tweets plus allowing you to read tweets connected to a topic/hashtag. But I think people follow too many accounts. The more you follow, the faster your stream flows.