Monday, March 19, 2012

Top Five Twitter Annoyances

Since I´ve got an addictive personality, I´ve become addicted to Twitter as of late. Before that I was addicted to Facebook, and before that, to e-mail mailing lists (an addiction that is hard to cure and continues to this day, I reckon ;).

As such, I´ve started to realize a number of annoyances with Twitter, and most important, how Twitter could fix it... of course "...for fun and profit". ;)

#1. DMs. Direct Messages. The user interface is a mess. The chat-like presentation might be good for short exchanges, but once the "conversation" and exchanges of DMs progresses, this becomes a wasteful choice, and a long string of short messages dilapidating screen real state.

#2. Twitter should embrace OPEN PROTOCOLS, more on this below.

#3. Twitter DMs could offer an e-mail gateway. It´s simple, by creating an email gateway to the Internet world, becomes your e-mail address. Anything received at becomes a DM to you. Of course, to keep up with the twitter spirit, messages would have to be stripped of all attachments, and plaintext messages cut to the first 140 chars. Not doing so would create lots of problems to twitter (capacity problems, storage cost, viruses, phishing, etc)

#4. Likewise, it should be possible to access your DMs Inbox via an open protocol. For this, nothing better than IMAP. You should be able to point any e-mail client to, say,, and check your DMs "Inbox", your "Sent" folder, etc.

#5. There is no easy way to download all your old tweets directly from the TW interface. As Google offers the option to "back up all your data", with its "Data Liberation Front" initiative, it should be possible to log-in to your Twitter "my account" area and choose to download a .zip compressed file of all your tweets, everything you have said on twitter both since the account creation, or the last month, or the last week, the user´s choice. I know, you´re telling me that´d be "too expensive" both in CPU and resources, when, how about making this a PAID option, only for people who pay a small yearly fee. (I´m thinking $10/year would be the magic number. Do the math.)

#6 Like Google´s Blogger email posting feature, it should be possible to create tweets by email. IE email and whatever you put on the subject line becomes a tweet.

What´s this for? it´d be great for script writers, to automate the sending of tweets effortlessly without having to deal with oAuth, Twitter APIs and the like.

That´s, imho the top-five Twitter shortcomings. (I know I said five.. )