Why Twitter Broke For Me. And A Few Easy Ways To Fix It.
I joined Twitter in January 2008. I remember taking pride in curating every person I followed, like a record store owner collecting vinyl.
I fell in love with the platform and it became the most important place to discover the things that mattered most to me.
I look back on the person I was a few years ago and I barely recognize myself, let alone many of the people I’ve followed on Twitter since 2008.
I’ve moved cities four times. I’ve been at several different companies. And my interests have evolved.
With every life change, my Twitter follower list has kept growing and growing, and what once felt like a boutique now feels like a superstore.
The product now feels less personal every time I check my feed.
Twitter does very little to help you curate the people you follow.
That doesn’t need to be the case — and I have a few simple ideas to improve the platform I love.
To start, I would help users “reclaim” their feeds and curate the people they follow.
Currently, the only way to unfollow users is to scroll through a messy list that loads slowly and looks like this:
To unfollow people, I have to click “unfollow” one user at time, and scroll down the page after viewing six profiles per screen on my laptop.
I can also unfollow users in my main feed, but that requires too much work and doesn’t allow me to efficiently clean up my list.
Product Idea: Tell Me “Who To Unfollow”
It might sound counter-intuitive, but the product feature I’d like to see from Twitter right now is “Who to Unfollow.”
The basic product would function like this:
- Show me who Tweets most frequently among the people I follow. This will help me unfollow people who abuse the stream.
- Let me see who I interact with the most and least. This list should be based on people I retweet, like, or reply to most frequently — along with the people who interact my content most often.
- Filters based on geography. I’ve lived in many cities since joining Twitter. I’m no longer in contact with many of the people I followed while living in the same city. Let me curate based on location.
I guarantee that nobody is dying to pitch these ideas to Jack — and I understand that.
On any product team, it’s easy to forgot about your existing users as you focus on growth, especially when you’re a public company like Twitter.
“Boring features” are often overlooked in a culture that rewards innovation and people who come up with the biggest ideas.
But the truth is, boring product features are often the most valuable, even if they don’t get your teammates fired up at product meetings.
This isn’t a sexy growth feature for Twitter. It won’t get Wall Street excited. But boring matters, and it’s time to make Twitter feel personal again.