Tag Archives | Twitter

Twitter’s Still Trying to Explain Itself

As any Twitter enthusiast knows, the hardest part of turning new people onto the service is explaining why they’d want to use it in the first place.

Five years later, Twitter’s still trying to nail that explanation itself. Yet another home page redesign, reportedly rolling out to some users, takes another stab at making Twitter interesting from the outside. This is the third major redesign in less than two years.

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How the Twitter Grinch Stole April Fool’s Day

I don’t like being fooled, but I’ve always had a soft spot for April Fool’s Day. For the tech companies and publications that play practical jokes on April 1, it’s a chance to let loose and show that behind every gadget — and every story about that gadget — there are actual people.

If you’re with me on this, the worst thing you can do on April Fool’s Day is hang out on Twitter. At least in tech circles, the hive mind has deemed that your best option on April 1 is to take a day off from the Internet.

I’m not a natural-born prankster. I have no gags of my own to defend. But jokes like Gmail Motion, the branded Roku Remote and Richard Rosenblatt’s $40 million yacht, The AdSense, bring a smile to my face. Instead of crying out in anguish on social networks, perhaps the haters should lighten up and stop being so gullible. I dunno — maybe I just haven’t been burned badly enough yet.

Read on for some samples of rain on the parade, but be warned: foul language follows, because that’s the kind of bitterness this day brings out in people.

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Twitter for iPhone Dumps the QuickBar

Twitter has come to its senses and removed the dreadful QuickBar that defaced the otherwise wonderful Twitter app for iPhone. Good! (I would have been equally happy with an option to disable it, though…)

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Your Take on This AT&T-T-Mobile Thing

I spent the last few days at the CTIA Wireless show in Orlando, and the big news at the show wasn’t big news from the show. It was, of course, the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile US. Everyone at the conference seemed to still be processing it in their minds–and I decided to ask my friends over at Twitter (where I’m @harrymccracken) for their takes as of right now.

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On the Quickbar, and Why It’s So Bad

Instapaper’s Marco Arment does a great job of explaining why the Quickbar in Twitter’s iPhone app is such a lousy idea–which has nothing to do with advertising. You think anyone at Twitter understands?

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Twitter Enables “Always On” HTTPS

If you’re concerned with somebody hacking into your tweets, Twitter has just enabled an “always on” secure connection feature, according to a post on the company blog Tuesday. The feature can be enabled by checking the “Always Use HTTPS” check box in settings. This follows a similar move by Facebook in January.

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Twitter to Third-Party Clients: Drop Dead

Twitter isn’t wild about third-party Twitter clients. In a new message to developers, Ryan Sarver of Twitter’s platform team dwells on the downside of Twitter clients that aren’t controlled by Twitter. saying that they can be confusing and may not follow good privacy practices or adequately hew to the service’s terms of service. What Twitter users need, Sarver says, is a consistent experience across multiple platforms. So the company doesn’t want anyone developing new Twitter clients aimed at consumers, and says it’s going to hold developers of existing clients to “high standards” of consistency and privacy.

This philosophy isn’t going to have any impact on me–at least not immediately and directly. I mostly use Twitter’s own Web site, the official Twitter clients for iOS and Android, and the excellent, still-okay-because-it’s-n0t-aimed-at-consumers service HootSuite. But I still regret what Twitter is doing.

The statement expresses concern over the possibility of third-party apps baffling users by being inconsistent with Twitter’s own apps and experiences. But the company’s statement says that 90 percent of Twitter members use official Twitter apps, and that the top five ones all come from Twitter itself. Sounds like the teeming masses are already mostly fully onboard with Twitter’s version of Twitter. So why stand in the way of users who want something different? Isn’t it possible that the ten percent who choose to use something other than Twitter’s own clients are smart people who know what they’re doing, not confused newbies?

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The Troubling Thing About Twitter’s New Quick Bar

Something’s bothering me about Twitter for iPhone’s obtrusive, but now somewhat less obtrusive Quick Bar. It’s not the principle of adverising — ads put the bread on my table, too — or even the unavoidable placement at the top of the screen.

It’s the fact that Twitter is willing to be so obtrusive in the first place.

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More on Twitter’s Iffy iPhone App

That new version of Twitter’s iPhone app that I’m not so wild about? As Dwight Silverman of the Houston Chronicle reports, Twitter is trying to fix it, or at least refine it. But Dwight also points put another aspect of the upgrade that’s really a downgrade.

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I’m Not So Sure About Twitter’s New iPhone App

As I’ve periodically mentioned, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with Twitter for iPhone, the app formerly known as Tweetie. It’s not just a standout Twitter client and a wonder piece of iPhone software–I think that Loren Brichter, its creator, is one of the most gifted interface designers who’s ever worked in software for any device.

Today, Twitter rolled out an update to the app, and while the list of features makes it look like a meaty winner, I’ve been fumbling with it so far.

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