Twitter Trends in 2017

Why does the Twitter trends sidebar still look like this?

To a user, it looks like a mysterious list of hashtags with no structure, context, or sense of flow.

  • Is anything more important than the rest?
  • Is this a list made for me or are we all watching the same thing?
  • How often do these trends change?
  • Is the first item on the list 2x or 2000x more important then the the last one?
  • Most hashtags, stripped of their tweets, are very hard to understand. What on earth is “#htanz” or “REMforum”? Why should I click on these?

The box reminds me of the tag clouds that were so popular when blogs first started years and years ago: just a soup of tags that someone wrote, and up to you to make any sense of it.

remember this super-duper-useful UX pattern?

The data generated by Twitter is so incredible

In quality, volume, and latency…Twitter is unmatched.

So it’s particularly disappointing that a product like Trends, with its sad list of hashtags, would be so…un-evolved.

meet a Tatuara — reptile unchanged since its ancestor dinosaur version (thanks, http://uk.businessinsider.com/tuatara-facts-reptile-dinosaurs-2017-5)

Twitter Trends could be the front page of the World News.

Simple MVP inspiration can be found in products like Drudge Report or Techmeme. These offer true guidance, context, and value on trending information, and do it in a very simple product UX.

Twitter should be the interface for giving balance to trending stories, and help people gain insight and context into those stories.

The 3rd-parties hacking around Twitter guide the way to the value: they make tools to identify the difference between left/right perspectives on a topic, to check how many retweets are happening from Russian-based accounts, to count the raw number of people giving opinions on a topic, to give context to what a hashtag is even referring to.

Many of the good ideas are out there. I’m not sure why Twitter has not been more effectively exploiting them for itself (and to the benefit of us, the users).

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