Here’s Why The New Twitter Replies Are A Nightmare For Some Users

twitter office wall with logo

Twitter made a major change last week, the @replies will no longer be the same. The usernames will not count in the 140 character limit for tweets and hence replies will not include them. You need to click separately on a link above the tweet to see who are all tagged in a reply. Some users are saying this is a nightmare, here’s why

Here is what twitter said:

twitter office wall with logo
Image Source: Twitter

The logic behind the major redesign is to “let you express more with 140 characters,” Twitter said in a blog post. The move follows a change last year that excluded media attachments including photos, GIFs, and polls from being included in the character count. That was welcomed by power users and online marketers as a good move. This one though has been getting lukewarm to very cold reactions from users

After the change, whenever you reply to a tweet, the name of the person you’re replying to will appear above the tweet. If more than one person is part of the thread, you’ll see one username followed by “and 1 other,” “and 2 others,” and so on. “When reading a conversation, you’ll actually see what people are saying, rather than seeing lots of @usernames at the start of a tweet,” Twitter said in a blog post about the same. So what is wrong here? Look closer!

Naturally, seeing usernames often provides important context about the nature of the conversation. Given the conversational and inherently threaded nature of twitter chats, the concept of hiding the usernames tagged in a reply under a click seems as likely to confuse as it does to streamline the process. Still not getting it? Look at what Dan Frommer – Editor of Recode had to say

The new replies format surfaced in October, when some beta testers complained that they had made Twitter harder to read. But Twitter says the new design is aimed at offering more information overall about the accounts you’re tweeting at when you click them, including their profile picture and bio. The Beta Tests showed people who had the new design replied more, Twitter says. But for the class of power users that sees Twitter as a 24/7 chat room or even as a source of breaking news or purchase influencing discussions, expect this design to be met with rolling eyes. It is now extremely tough to track who is in a conversation and particularly to whom a reply is addressed to when there are multiple users in a conversation! Net Result – A conversational nightmare! How we wish they had gone with an edit option for tweets instead! What do you think?


About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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