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Twitter Angering Users By Removing @replies

Filed Under Twitter on 2009-05-12, 22:28

Twitter made what might first appear to be a small announcement, but on second thought has a huge impact on how many people interact with their service. They announced that they rolled out an update the would remove tweets from your friends that start with @Username from your Twitter stream if you were not following Username as well. They are not removing tweets that contain @Username mentioned anywhere else other than the start of the tweet. Confused? Let’s break it down:

I (@edrabbit) am following Colin (@catcubed). Colin is following Some Cool Friend (@somecoolguy) but I am not following @somecoolguy because I have not met @somecoolguy yet. The problem occurs when @catcubed posts the following tweet:

@somecoolguy Your latest album is awesome! Thanks for the great drum and bass tunes!

I will not see this tweet in my stream and I would potentially miss out on finding out about @somecoolguy and his awesome music. Or maybe @somecoolguy is in fact that person that Colin introduced me to at the party last week, but we never thought to mention Twitter names. When I see Colin @replying to him on Twitter I’m able to start following him myself. If I never see Colin’s tweet, then I’ll have to manually hunt down Some Cool Friend. Just like on other social networks, I watch who my friends are talking to because chances are their friends are interesting and quite possibly are my friends already too!

So, enough explanation, if you’re someone that this bothers, you’ve probably already realized it. I urge you to post to Twitter using the hashtag #fixreplies and #openreplies in order to bring Twitter’s attention to the fact that thousands of us want this feature back.

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