Listening is a basic tenet in community building and communication. Ears open right? Not so much in Twitter’s case this evening. They made a ‘small change‘ to their reply settings by changing the replies tab from showing all @replies to only showing those from people that you’re following. Reading their explanation sounds very condescending as it is – who said the replies option (hence the word option) was ‘undesirable’ or ‘confusing’? Twitter obviously doesn’t listen to the community to know what we find beneficial & functional in our everyday use.
As discussed a lot already tonight (check the #FIXIT and #fixreplies hashtags), many of us found new conversations through this option, as we were able to connect with people that were talking about us who we weren’t already following. Now, they’ve taken that ‘undesirable’ option away and hindered a big part of how we were able to build connections.
Twitter scaled back this ‘small’ option to help benefit their lack of scalability. We’re all aware of Twitter’s past server issues and concerns about scaling the platform as popularity continues to grow, but they seemingly turned away from the voice of the community and saw a change that would be great for them and only them.
Unplug your ears, Twitter (no matter how mainstream you’ve gotten), and take a listen to what your community is saying. Just because you grew up in the 2.0 world doesn’t mean we don’t want to be heard by our own people.
You would expect that a platform that allows for listening and monitoring of your brand/community, would be used as such by the actual platform…
Update – Twitter has updated their post, which is still confusing and still with a lack of options.
Update 2 – Follow-up post indicates @reply functionality will be brought back and seen by users, as long as the actual reply button is not clicked. Secondly, they’re already working on a new feature that’ll give us control on what we see from the people that we follow.
Kudos to Twitter. Though it took a huge uproar from the community they’ve seemingly listened and, for the time being, brought back a bit of the functionality back while working on a new feature to better suit our needs. I don’t know where these promises will lead but even with their lack of communication from the get go, I’m hopeful they’ll be able to right their wrong.