It’s been recently reported that Twitter is testing a new “You’re Both Following” feature, which is clearly inspired by Facebook’s “Mutual Friends” feature. While this move is pretty understandable, it got me a little concerned about Twitter’s future: what if Twitter keeps adapting itself to be more similar to Facebook? Here are five things I really hope Twitter doesn’t adapt from Facebook.
Yeah, Twitter has been adding new features – like location support – to battle competitors, but Facebook is a perfect example of how applications can be taken too far. I’m sure many people remember the Facebook Wall’s of the past which were clustered with dozens of applications. While that’s gone now, I still cringe every time my notifications list is overcome with MobWars invitations. Twitter’s appeal is in simplicity, so let’s keep it that way.
2. Embedded Media
Look, I’d be lying if I was a Twitter aficionado – I only recently got the damn thing (and only have 7 followers, so follow me @mhoughton hee hee!) – so needless to say the whole thing is a little bit overwhelming. However, one thing I immediately noticed was the clean uniformity of a Twitter page. Why? Because there aren’t half-dozen thumbnails of ironic rap videos posted by friends on my account page. There isn’t a horde of tagged photos of me performing my karaoke rendition of Mariah Carey’s Loverboy from Saturday night. And there are definitely no LOLcat photos that have only now been discovered by my mother. If only for my sake, stay clean, Twitter.
3. The “Like” Feature
This feature has enabled millions upon millions of Facebook users to be lazier than ever before. Without the pressures of coming up with a creative response, users can still leave a notice of appreciation. While someone could argue that this feature is positive, I truly hope it does not translate over to Twitter. Why? Because Twitter is lazy enough already! Besides the fact that you can simply “retweet” something with the click of a button, every single post is limited to 140 characters. With blogs nowadays already coming up with elaborate “Like” systems – thinks this is awesome, thinks this is inspiring, thinks this entire thing is a big joke – I think that comments with real opinion and wit have been devalued enough as it is.
4. “You Are Now Leaving” Page
Sometimes – when exactly I have yet to figure out – when clicking a link from Facebook, you are directed to a page warning you about unsecure websites and reminding you that you’re leaving Facebook. It’s really annoying, and with all of the links shared throughout Twitter, this sort of feature would easily top the charts as one of the most infuriating.
5. An Obsession with Change
Since I’ve been a member of Facebook, I’ve seen the layout design and fundamental functions of Facebook drastically change several times. I understand the desire to improve, but it’s important to maintain a certain level of consistency and for many, the changes weren’t even improvements. Twitter has done a good job thus far as staying true to its original form; let us hope this continues on into the future.