Do you know why we love Twitter? Because of tweets, daaah! The conversations, the threads, the RTs, it’s literally all about the tweets.
However, a number of engineers, designers and analysts sitting in an office in San Francisco have been under constant pressure to “innovate” and give the 14-year-old platform a new breath of life and unfortunately, this has led to a number of terrible ideas that have shoved down the throats of loyal Twitter users.
Before the mess that is 2020 (and I am not talking about the pandemic and the numerous deaths), Twitter’s changes were mostly subtle, albeit they were still met with a lot of resistance. For instance, changing the “favourites” star button to a heart for “likes” wasn’t that welcome but within a short time, users were accustomed to the new way of doing things.
Fleeting Voice Tweets
However, 2020 has been a different year and so have Twitter’s changes. First came voice tweets, back in June 2020 (that’s 6 months ago, not 6 years FYI). The idea was that Tweeps could now send voice tweets instead of typing the tweet. Sounds cool, right? Well. No! At first, there were a lot of voice tweets floating around the timeline, from random people saying random things, to funny jokes that could only be expressed through a voice note and the dark side of Twitter with moaning sound clips being sent as voice tweets.
Then the number of voice tweets started reducing. One tweet at a time, within a few days, we were back to a normal timeline without voice tweets hanging around. As of now, I know only one person who consistently sends out voice tweets every morning, she does have a voice to charm the serpent but aside from wishing strangers on the internet a good day, there’s nothing important she tells us.
The feature is currently only available on iOS devices and we expect another spark of activity when it finally hits the Android camp but we also won’t be mad if it never makes it there.
Have You Seen My Fleets?
Like clockwork, a few months later Twitter was at it again with a new feature, this time around, they were launching stories within the app and calling them fleets.
Fleets were dead on arrival. With the feature having been rumoured for a while, tweeps were not having it and the feature wasn’t that much welcome. When it first launched, the uptake was spectacular, people were trying it out, the views and engagements were through the roof.
Ever heard that names are powerful? Well, Twitter might have meant to call their stories knock-off fleets to signify that the stories will only be available for view for a short period (24 hours), but the name also signified how short hype around fleets would be.
A short while after Fleets were a thing, they weren’t. Fleets turned into another avenue to repost tweets, essentially turning Fleets into Instagram and WhatsApp. Then when the views and engagements went down, the number of tweets asking people to watch their fleets went up.
From a number of influencers I have spoken to, the engagement on fleets went from tens of thousands to a few thousand and sometimes hundreds within a short time. Personally, I stopped even noticing the ugly rings at the top of the Twitter app.
While we appreciate the need to innovate, Twitter has always ignored the real innovation people have been asking for. Twitter DMs suck, no reply function, no search capabilities and yet this is one of the most used features on the platform after the timeline.
Then there’s the big issue of editable tweets and when we said we want disappearing tweets, we meant exactly that, a normal tweet that seizes to exists after a preset period of time.
Dear Twitter, we appreciate the useful features that you have put out, like making threads easier to post, making it easier to see quoted replies and limiting who we want to respond to a tweet. All these features make the conversations on Twitter better. On behalf of all tweeps, I want you to know that we are important people, we make corporates apologies for BS they do and make governments get their isht together, all while still having time to be toxic (fix this though).
But we didn’t ask for Voice tweets or fleets and we all wish we were this guy:
What a relief??? pic.twitter.com/DP1uXZ0sMl
— nooni toons. (@nmordecainu) December 4, 2020