Posted by: sarahmeyers | July 29, 2007

Twitter “Tweet Tweet” I’ll “Follow” You

While Twitter announced its closing series A funding they changed the way people “follow” the others. They have announced their investors; Union Square Ventures, Charles River Ventures, and some Angel investors- Andreessen, Costolo, Conway, and Ravikant. Twitter says the people have been confused over friends, followers and notifications. They say that the others report too much overlap and confusion between “friend” and “follow.”  

Some have said they don’t like being called someone’s follower, but who has heard anyone complain about being someone’s friend? I have not. Nonetheless, they’re removing the label friend from the site because they want to focus on the term “follow” instead. I have just tried to add everyone back as a friend in groups because I want to follow everyone who is following me. I hope this does not change that type of relationship with the others, but I’m afraid it may. 

What will happen with the direct messaging option? I thought the genius behind Twitter is that you can only direct message your friends and be exclusive. This is better for those who get spammed by email and have no safe place to go and be private with direct messages. I realize this news is 10 days old, but I just want to give my opinion on it. Twitter has added a notification called “toggle” that allows you to turn on updates via SMS or IM that will allow for an exclusive relationship.

I like to keep twitter off my mobile, but in some cases I would like to have some people on the mobile, however this number is slim. I don’t want to feel the pressure to add someone to my toggle list unless they are close because it’s the only way to keep any privacy on the mobile. More interactions are creeping over to the mobile device that I would like to separate it from the home of my calls. 

For example, the cell phone is where you close loved ones call you and it’s hard to mix in the interaction of too many direct messages. If only I had two mobiles I would add more to my notifications list or my “toggle.”  

Some have been twittering from Comic-Con, the comic book convention in San Diego, California. The writer/actor Wil Wheaton is someone you may follow for a peek into the comic book industry. http://twitter.com/wilw


Responses

  1. I haven’t used Twitter as much now that Pownce has slightly taken over by adding more interactivity between your “followers” by calling them fans.

    Going mobile and “twittering” is one of the greatest benefits of Twitter but Jaiku also does this. I think just sending messages and being able to allow only certain friends and followers to send updates to your mobile phone should be a standard feature.

    As mobile phones become more internet compliant, I can foresee that we will see more sites and apps that will cater to this market. Twitter can become the front bearer of a successful mobile internet social networking and micro blogging site.

    The iPhone is the start of using the internet on a mobile device in a simpler and easy way. As you grow more popular, hopefully there will be more sites and apps that will be able to cater to your growing demand to separate your public life with your private life.

  2. A percentage of customers (website users) will always resist any change no matter if it is for the better. The friend and follower distinction was perfectly clear to me.

    I wonder how many more of twitter’s fundamental features will change now they are under real pressure by their VC backers to monetize their users?

    This reminds me of when Digg went mainstream with their categories in order to attract more traffic. I have no doubt this was purely a comercial decision driven by their investors. It was never the same after that. I went back to slashdot.

  3. Andybob, are you saying that you don’t use digg now? Wow! I’m going to keep using twitter its just that I will be super tight about who can send me SMS. I don’t think its bad or anything, just I thought it was fine the way the had it before.

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  5. […] applauded Twitter’s decision in July of 2007 to change “friend” to “follow”. It took one more falsehood out of the pile of lies that is the […]


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