Potential Changes to Twitter Raise Some Critiques

by / Wednesday, 27 August 2014 / Published in Technology For Business

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Twitter is among the pantheon of major global social networks, making it a great place for businesses to share links, thoughts, tweet at their influencers and respond to the tweets of their own followers. The way that Twitter has historically worked in terms of likes, follows and retweets has seen favoriting tweets function as a way to bookmark tweets as well as show interest in a tweet without retweeting it. A retweet would allow a user to have a tweet they liked appear in their own feed, shared with their entire network of followers, while a follow would only appear in the notification feed of the account that they had decided to follow. Now, changes to the way Twitter displays user actions are being tested which would make follows and favorites appear in feeds in the same way that retweets do, and the idea isn’t pleasing all of Twitter’s user base, according to an article from Smallbiztrends.com. While these changes are simply being tested and not definitively rolled out, they are still garnering attention.

Making the move to publicly display more user actions has some feeling exposed. Using the favorites function in order to bookmark tweets is something that many users do, and thus may not relish the idea that this function will now no longer be private. The move seems to be one that brings Twitter more towards a Facebook style feed in that the activity of those who you follow will almost universally show up in your feed. Additionally, who you decide to follow being displayed raises some reservations, since what was once private business will now be highly visible, and what is easily visible can more easily become subject to unwanted scrutiny.

What are some potential benefits of the change? While privacy concerns are an issue, the benefits touted by Twitter include allowing users to more get a better sense of the tastes of those who they are following, as well as the creation of more chances for people to discover content that they are interested, in the same way that they would be able to also decide to like a page that a friend had liked on Facebook after seeing that activity appear in their feed.

Photo Credit mkhmarketing on Flickr

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