5 Reasons Threaded Tweets are Terrible

threaded-tweetsIf you haven’t noticed lately, Twitter has been connecting conversations using a blue line. These are called threaded tweets and they are terrible.

Twitter began rolling out threaded tweets in June. They are said to have positive reviews, although I do not who gave these positive reviews. Theoretically, this service is supposed to make it easier to follow users’ conversations on Twitter. The threaded tweets let you easily track a conversation back to the original tweet. Whenever the conversation has a response, you get the original tweet in your stream as well, connected by a blue line to several tweets including the newest tweet in the thread. While this is being pitched as an improvement, I think there are a number of reasons this is not a benefit to the service.

  1. Twitter still has a steep learning curve for those who are new to the service. Threading tweets will not make the “language” of Twitter easier to understand for those who are new. The only real way to learn the language of Twitter is to engage on the platform and follow conversations. This way, you can understand the flow of information. Presumably, it’s this learning curve Twitter is trying to make easier. I just don’t think this solution truly bridges that gap for the new users.
  2. Threaded tweets change the chronology of you Twitter stream. Where Twitter used to display tweets in chronological order, you may now get a tweet that is hours, days or weeks old displayed in your stream as the “top” tweet in a threaded conversation. As many tweets are based on timeliness this can be disconcerting and misleading.
  3. Additionally, threaded tweets take up a large portion of your stream. By displaying much of the conversation, you are forced to sift through a single conversation in order to get to tweets you actually care about. This is time consuming and detrimental to Twitter’s quick flow of information.
  4. Really, you have to consider that if you found a tweet interesting, you could always click on the “View Conversation” link to see the entire conversation. By shoving it in people’s faces, Twitter is forcing you to see a conversation you could have seen previously if you’d cared but that you now have to read even if you find it boring or annoying.
  5. It’s ugly. From a visual perspective, this blue thread is not elegant and could certainly have been designed to at least look more appealing if it was going to be around.

What do you think of new threaded tweets? Have you found them useful?

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