Three things Twitter should do!

Let’s get one thing out of the way first — we do need Twitter. For what Twitter does, there is no other that does all of it better. Imagine a world without Twitter:

  • no real time event coverage — where do you go to see if there was an earthquake in your area, or a riot; or how the concert is going, or a conference.
  • going back to old-style support from companies — when I tweet about my internet connection, I get immediate support, while when I call their phone support, it can take forever.
  • no more no-strings-attached connections — I can follow people and track what they are saying, follow up with comments which may or may not elicit response. The entry barrier for conversations is very low.

There are other reasons for why Twitter is just better. A lot of services provide parts of what Twitter provides or provide a whole lot more in addition which takes away the simplicity of what Twitter provides.

Having said all that, Twitter should make changes to make its platform better and friendlier. Here are some ideas that will make Twitter a much better platform (as I see it).

Making better use of Verified Accounts to fight online abuse, spam, and trolling

In the past only people who were very notable (celebrities, CEOs, politicians, etc.) were verified. Recently, Twitter has started verifying more people. This trend should be accelerated. Once, they have a sizeable population on Twitter marked as verified, they can start making use of it in many ways.

  • Imagine a scenario where someone who is being abused can flip a switch and only verified accounts are allowed to interact with that user. Twitter could even employ machine learning to detect abuse and flip the switch itself.
  • Prevent trending tags from being spammed by rate-limiting or preventing non-verified users from using them.

Better control on the search feature

While Twitter provides an “Advanced Search”, it still results in a poor experience because the search results are often filled with people spamming a popular hashtag or in general just spamming. Here are filters I would love to see:

  • Tweets by Verified Users
  • Tweets by people who I have interacted with in the past
  • Tweets which are part of a conversation (which have replies or are replies)

Integration of Twitter in other services

I feel that Twitter is a perfect medium for conversations on topics which are created on other services. Think of forums, but quicker, shorter, and realtime. Here are some examples:

  • If I am looking at a product on Amazon.com, it would be useful to see if there is a conversation about the product on Twitter — it could be people asking questions, or reporting their experiences after buying the product.
  • If I am on Tripadvisor, it would be a much richer experience to just find people who can reply to tweets in realtime about a hotel or a city that I am going to visit.

Somehow, Twitter is not integrated within other services where it has the power to bring very simple conversations to many services.

There are many areas where Twitter can improve the experience and usefulness for the end user in the ‘basic tweeting and reading other people’s tweets’ area. The above three are what I would most like to see.

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