Find Time to Understand An Important Twitter Change

twitter9gifFinding time to keep up with the latest on Twitter isn’t just a matter of keeping up with the Twitterverse.  It also involves keeping up with changes in Twitter itself – and with the evolution of Twitter-related tools and applications.

On Thursday the blog TwiTip featured a post by Jon Reid about how Twitter is like a cocktail party.  Then, on Saturday, in an important follow-up post Jon Reid wrote about recently implemented changes in the @ reply option that have made Twitter a lot LESS like a cocktail party.

Twitter used to offer options for viewing the @replies of people that you follow.  You could expand or contract what you saw, depending on time, energy, and interest.  Here is how Jon Reid describes the old options:

You are following A.  A replies to B: “@B blah blah” The question is, do you see that reply or not?

  • If your setting was “all @ replies” then you would see the reply.
  • If your setting was “@ replies to the people I’m following” then you would see the reply only if you also followed B.
  • If your setting was “no @ replies” then you wouldn’t see the reply even if you also followed B.

As of May 12th – most likely because of the burden they placed on the system, these options were narrowed to one:  You now see @ replies only if you are following the sender AND the recipient. Period.

What does this mean? It means that you aren’t seeing many of the @replies to other people that you used to.  This, in turn, means that you probably aren’t coming upon as many new and interesting people … and conversations aren’t as expansive as they had been.

Apparently Twitter is working on a fix for this, because users have asked for it!  But until then, be aware that when you send an @reply, not as many people see it as used to.

Toward the end of his post, Jon Reid offers some suggestions for making sure your replies are visible to the largest number of people possible (one idea being to NOT use the @ reply feature).

Have you noticed any changes in your Twitter stream since May 12?  How have you responded? I’d love to hear!

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