Twitter, the popular microblogging site, hit perhaps its biggest roadbump yet with users on Tuesday, when it eliminated the feature of following the conversations of people you aren’t connected with (which it deemed a “Small Settings Update”). Instead of simply making a more user-friendly default mode, Twitter deleted the option altogether, deeply offending a core user base who used the feature to find new people and expand networks.
The reaction was swift and harsh from power users. The move, which comes after a softer backlash to “celebretization” of Twitter, is deeply wrongheaded. Twitter should learn from the rage against arbitrary Facebook changes, and MySpace’s failure to define itself, and quickly return to a user-centric model, not a clownish attention to growth over utility.
Photo by David Reece.
Adriel Hampton is a journalist, Gov 2.0 and new media strategist, public servant, and licensed private investigator. He is running for U.S. Congress in the 2009 special election for California’s 10th District.