Misconceptions About Twitter Reply Changes, and Where They’re Going With All This

Twitter are now forcing user conformity in replies. Where once a choice between all, none, or some existed before, now there is only one choice (not really a choice at all). We now only get — and conversely are forced to get — replies from others, only those directed to others that we also follow. Make sense?

Personally I was quite happy receiving no replies to other people on my home page, though it seems most people complaining want all replies.

Misconceptions seem to include thinking that you will no longer receive replies directed to you from people that you do not follow, much like the direct message system, though this does not seem like a response to reply spam, and all replies from all users will continue to be received loud and clear. Also fears that this move will kill things like Follow Friday are completely unfounded, as user mentions will remain unchanged by this move.

Rationale behind this move? Perhaps, like most others are assuming, Twitter is just stupid and are just restricting user choice on the matter because they can. Although, I’d like to speculate that this change is the start of a radical change in the way replies work, by truly separating conversations as replies from users’ normal twitter stream. If this indeed this is the case, then I welcome the change wholeheartedly and will tolerate this restriction in the meantime.


5 Responses to “Misconceptions About Twitter Reply Changes, and Where They’re Going With All This”

  1. TurboFool Says:

    If you’re correct, which is quite possible, it still doesn’t forgive shutting down the option in the meantime. Logically they should keep it in place until its replacement is ready to avoid angering their users.

    And even so, it sounds to me as though a replacement for the system still wouldn’t resolve the problem at hand. I find interesting topics of conversation and interesting people to follow almost primarily through these one-sided replies that show up on my feed. It sounds as though any new system they employ still wouldn’t provide this ability, and that’s a massive shame for me and the way I’ve grown to use Twitter.

  2. Dave Peterson Says:

    Misconceptions aside, this is a big change to the way Twitter now works, not the “small change to settings” that was billed. The good news is that it’s easily overcome, by putting just one character in front of an @reply. But workarounds shouldn’t have to become the Twitter user’s norm. When I look for a motive for this, a real one, I see decreasing server load. With this one change, Twitter has dramatically decreased the tweet stream they have to send out to each user. I think that’s the real reason, not sparing us the annoyance of one-sided conversation.

  3. John Bottom Says:

    Thanks for highlighting the misconception. It is about choice, but it sounds like they’re going in the direction of less choice. The truth is that, as Twitter traffic expands, the average Twitter stream will become unmanageably large and users need help in filtering it. Sure, the @replies can block up a stream, especially when you follow people who only use Twitter for that (and they tend to be very frequent Twitterers) but we need more tools to help us deal with that – not restrictions like this! I think it will be a joint effort between Twitter and the good people developing things like Tweetdeck.
    But don’t worry – we’ll get there eventually. If the people want it, they will get it. Twitter is nothing if not democratic.

  4. hottopicspoll Says:

    Twitter hides replies to people you don’t follow! Agree or Disagree with new terms? http://HotTopicsPoll.com/fixreplies

  5. Joshua Says:

    Great responses! Looks like Twitter is actually starting work on changes to the reply system as detailed in their latest post. Also they admitted the change was a lot to do with server load and scalability.

    Looking forward to future developments.

Leave a Reply