Twitter can take zeros and turn them into heroes in no time flat. As we have mentioned repeatedly, the power of social media to take obscure ideas and obscure people and spread their ideas and personal brand to worldwide audience has been tested time and time again. This is not in dispute, if you have any doubts, just look at the Kony 2012 campaign or the Arrow Spring; and you would know quickly how powerful viral messaging and social media could be. However powerful Twitter is in spreading ideas, it can be quite a hassle to read for newbie twitter users. When you look at the Twitter feeds of heavily followed celebrities like Shaquil O’Neal, Ashton Kutcher and other influentialtwitter users; you would probably be looking mostly for what they have to say, their thoughts, insights, what they have to share. You’d probably be less interested in their particular response to another Twitter user. To be fair, there are many responses that do make the headlines from time to time but those are relatively rare. For the most part, people who are following highly influential people on Twitter are interested in what they have to share. Sadly, the old layout of Twitter made this hard to do because if you are just following a celebrity or any influential person, you would be bombarded not just by their direct tweets but also their responses to other people. Twitter rolled out simplified tweet stream that eliminates a lot of the response noise. By clicking on the No Replies link on your Twitter feed, you can see direct tweets by the person you are following, so a lot of the noise is filtered out.
What are the practical implications of this change?
One, it makes it easier for newbies to follow influence makers on Twitter. This boosts their loyalty to Twitter and gives them one less reason to stop using the service. It’s less confusing and it’s easier to get the value that you came to twitter for. The second value of this change is that it allows twitter to retain newer users while at the same time still catering to die-hard tweet addicts who can just toggle on and off the response filter so that they can get one-on-one reactions with other tweeter users. Indeed, there are many instances of semi-scandals that broke out over Twitter not because of any direct tweets issued by a celebrity or an influential person but by what they said in an outburst response to somebody that asked them a question or engaged them on Twitter. So whatever motivations that you have for using Twitter, this simplified process can do nothing but help increase Twitter’s value for a wide range of its users.
There are existing 3rd party Twitter tools that already have this feature, yet it is nice to see the main Twitter service incorporate this. Whatever would make the service easy to use, easy to figure out is going to only benefit the company over the long haul.