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Posts tagged with ‘twitter’

Twitter Hints That At-Replies And Hashtags Are About To Be Streamlined →

Charlie Warzel reports on hints and statements of intent at Twitter about moving the ‘arcane’ language of microsyntax (@, #, in particular) down into the infrastructure. He mentions a recent talk by Vivian Schiller:

What will Twitter look like in a year? Two years? A lot less like itself.

At least that’s the impression Vivian Schiller, head of news at Twitter, gave addressing the crowd two days ago at the Newspaper Association of America’s mediaXchange conference in Denver. During her talk, Schiller called at-replies and hashtags “arcane” and hinted that Twitter might soon move them into the background of the service.

When asked about the comments, Twitter replied that Schiller was echoing a similar sentiment that the company’s CEO, Dick Costolo, addressed in a recent earnings call:

By bringing the content of Twitter forward and pushing the scaffolding of the language of Twitter to the background, we can increase high-quality interactions and make it more likely that new or casual users will find this service as indispensable as our existing core users do. And we took initial steps in that direction with the introduction of media forward timelines and in-line social actions in October, and we’re already starting to see early signs that those initiatives are working well.

Unlike Schiller’s, Costolo’s statement makes no specific mention of hashtags and at-replies, suggesting that Schiller may have accidentally hinted at specific targets for upgrade. While it’s not immediately clear how this disappearance would work, it’s possible that at-replies will be auto-replaced by formal Twitter names, like they are on Facebook.

Hiding the # and @ characters would be like a city burying all the electric wires and TV cables so that people can see things better.

Twitter has already done away with explicit retweets (the old RT), and streamlined the way that URLs are handled, so why wouldn’t they want to clear out the unintuitive #hashtags and @mentions?

Hiding the # and @ characters would be like a city burying all the electric wires and TV cables so that people can see things better.

And this is coming from the guy that coined the term hashtag. I would be happy to drop the hash and just have real tags. But we still need to be able to tag tweets, even if we won’t be wasting characters with them. And by making tags real metadata, Twitter may finally get around to treating them as something more than just a # and a string of characters.

Here’s a picture of the explicit @mention being suppressed in an Android experimental app:

I Think Twitter Should Buy Nuzzel Immediately, Before Yahoo or Flipboard Does

I got access to Nuzzel today, and it is going to immediately join Flipboard as one of the few apps I religiously use everyday to make sense of my Twitter flow. Nuzzel cross-tabulates my incoming stream of tweets, and yields the stories that a whole bunch of my scene are talking about in Twitter. Nuzzel is the best social news feed I’ve seen, to date.


This is a much better realization of what I have been using Flipboard to do for me with my Twitter feed there. This aggregates dozens of tweets about a hot story — like Jennifer Bell’s Journalism startups aren’t a revolution if they’re filled with all these white men — and allows me to wander through aggregation from my friends — those who I follow directly — and from my friends of friends — which truly is my social scene. (I’m betting that swarm is something like a few hundred thousand to a million people, based on each of the 1500 folks I follow following a few hundred people each.)

Nuzzel also suggests stories I might have missed, and keeps track of what i have read — just that last feature along is a product I need regularly.

Check out my public Nuzzel feed at

Twitter’s ad rates continue falling, down 18% last quarter - Quartz
User engagement down, as people defect to messaging apps. Is there some reason that Twitter hasn’t made its direct messaging function into a messaging app? And please add group messaging, too. Why is Twitter so slow at innovating?

Twitter’s ad rates continue falling, down 18% last quarter - Quartz

User engagement down, as people defect to messaging apps. Is there some reason that Twitter hasn’t made its direct messaging function into a messaging app? And please add group messaging, too. Why is Twitter so slow at innovating?

Social Media’s ‘Law’ of Short Messages

MIT News (02/26/14) Peter Dizikes

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Senseable City Lab recently conducted a study showing that social media messages grow shorter as the volume of activity rises. “This helps us better understand what is going on—the way we respond to things becomes faster and more impulsive,” says MIT professor Carlo Ratti. For example, at times of lower activity, the most popular length of tweets ranges from about 70 to 120 characters. However, at moments of greater traffic, the highest concentration of tweets is only about 25 characters in length. “If you plot the rate of the messages versus the length, then you can find a mathematical relation between these two things during [major] events,” says MIT’s Michael Szell. The researchers focused on data from several social media sources at a variety of points in time. University of Namur mathematician Renaud Lambiotte says this is “an interesting piece of research” that may lead to fruitful follow-up work, “in particular for the modeling of the relation between behavioral response and emotional stimuli.” The study also found an “index of frustration” among some social media users, particularly during major events when a small portion of users run up against Twitter’s 140-character limit.

(via social-network-and-computing)

New Map of Twitterverse Finds 6 Types of Networks

UMD Newsdesk (02/21/14) Tom Ventsias; Lee Tune

University of Maryland professor Ben Shneiderman, working with researchers from the Pew Research Internet Project, the Social Media Research Foundation, and the University of Georgia, has found that most of the information being discussed on Twitter falls into six distinct patterns or networks. Their study analyzed tens of thousands of Twitter conversations over the past four years and developed a “topographical map” of these patterns based on the topic being discussed, the information and influencers driving the conversation, and the social network structures of the participants. The six network patterns the researchers found are polarized crowds, tight crowds, brand clusters, community clusters, broadcast networks, and support networks. “What we’ve done is to provide a visual map of the Twitterverse that will ultimately help others to better interpret the trends, topics, and implications of these new communication technologies,” Shneiderman says. The researchers used NodeXL, an open source program, to interpret the data. NodeXL enables researchers to examine the combination of tweets, retweets, and the social networks Twitter users. “It could eventually have a large impact on our understanding of everything from health to community safety, from business innovation to citizen science, and from civic engagement to sustainable energy programs,” Shneiderman says.

(via social-network-and-computing)

Twitter’s stock plunged on Thursday, dropping 24 percent to close at $50.05 a share, after a fourth-quarter earnings report on Wednesday showed significant declines in usage and a slowdown in the growth of the new users.

Vindu Goel, Twitter’s Stock Crashes Back to Reality

Time for a dramatic rethinking of the Twitter user experience.

  1. Separate chat application, supporting 1:1 and group chats.
  2. Long-lived sponsored chat streams, with curated content.
  3. Better filters and subsetting of social graphs, replacing the annoying and inconvenient ‘lists’, and based on people tagging. 

The third point, expanded:

Imagine in an offspring of Twitter I could tag people with topics. Like ‘tag @billburnet #startup #tech #socialCRM’. Then, I could select different streams in my total stream by using tag algebra, like ‘stream #tech OR #science’ which would show me posts from people I have tagged #tech or #science, even when their posts aren’t tagged explicitly.

Even better, expanding on 2 above, Twitter could proactively create defined and curated streams — like Tumblr has — for topics like Tech, Photography, Olympic Skating, or The New Aesthetic. I could add those to my stream without having to follow the specific people involved, or simply go to These would obviously be a huge advertising opportunity, since real estate there — like a prominent IBM ad on the Tech stream and occasional sponsored tweets in it — could be worth a fortune.

Get with it, Costello.

Magic Pics sent this today. It made sense, for the first time.

Magic Pics sent this today. It made sense, for the first time.

Exclusive: Twitter working on “edit” feature for tweets - Matthew Keys →


Twitter is working on a new feature that would allow users to edit tweets once they are published, three sources close to the project have confirmed to The Desk.

Those sources, who asked to be identified only as Twitter employees, say the feature has been a top priority at the company for months as Twitter pushes to expand partnerships among media organizations and original content producers.

According to sources and documents reviewed by The Desk, the new Twitter feature would look something like this:

Once a user publishes a tweet, an “edit” feature will be present for a limited amount of time (Twitter is still currently working out the length of time the feature would be available). The feature would allow a user to make “slight changes” to the contents of a tweet, such a removing a word, correcting a typo or adding one or two additional words.

An edit could only be performed once per tweet. Once the edit is made, it would be immediately visible on that user’s Twitter feed. The edit would also show up on the feed of anyone who re-published the tweet using Twitter’s built-in “re-tweet” feature.

Twitter wants to enable users to immediately debunk incorrect information, especially erroneous tweets that go viral. However, Twitter wants users to be able to edit a tweet without changing the overall purpose — in other words, Twitter doesn’t want a user to post a news story, accumulate a large amount of re-tweets, and then change the tweet to display a promotion or advertisement.

To solve this problem, Twitter is looking at a few things, including limitations on how many characters or words a user would be allowed to insert or delete. According to sources, Twitter is also developing an “editorial algorithm” that, if it works correctly, would be able to “detect” whether or not a user is attempting to change the overall intention of the tweet instead of fixing a minor mistake or retracting an erroneous report.

Sources say Twitter’s editorial algorithm, still being developed, is projected to be finished in a matter of “weeks, or months at the most.”

Thank all the little gods, editable tweets — of a sort — are coming.

Twitter introduces ‘Broad Match for Keywords’ to its keyword targeted campaigns for business users

Got this today:

Begin using broad match by omitting punctuation from your keywords. Other match types are still available, such as:
  • Broad match modifier - Matches on Tweets containing keywords in any order, including other words in between. Specify with a plus sign before all or selected words in the keyword. Example: +love +coffee
  • Phrase match - Matches on Tweets containing keywords in exact order only. Specified by quote marks around the keyword. Example: “love coffee”

I am going to have to get a demo one day of Twitter for Business.

More Prominent Placement Of Direct Messaging On Twitter Webpage

Twitter is trying to bull its way into the hot chat space and one obvious step is making direct messaging more of a front and center activity. Today — for the first time — I saw that the new ‘envelope/talk balloon’ icon for direct messages was on my Twitter toolbar, in the upper right near the settings sprocket:


Otherwise, the functionality hasn’t changed much.

I am betting that private group chat will be coming very soon, and it won’t be based on hashtags, but on ‘soft invitation’ via mentions by the initiator of the chat.

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