Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Features I wish Twitter had

I had a love-hate relationship with Twitter, when i had joined the platform initially. I would quit the platform owing to too much noise and then join it after a while and the cycle continued for a while.

But over time I realized that Twitter is just a tool and how you use it is totally up-to you. It could either be a place with incredible noise or it could be a platform to get information you are interested in, without getting indulged in pointless discussions, useless information or topics.

With that said, here i present the features i wish Twitter had :

Expiring Tweets

Twitter has a recency problem. For example, there could be a viral discussion on a recent issue or the relevancy of the issue / tweet would not be more than a couple of months at a stretch. Some tweets are written for the moment but it survives online for eternity unless one is conscious about deleting the tweets religiously or deletes account permanently. Also, there have been instances where old tweets have been taken out of context and propagated.

If we could set an expiry for a tweet with an hashtag like #6h representing "remove tweet after 6 hours" or #1w representing "remove tweet after a week" for example, it would be great.  The controversial tweets are going to be screenshot and shared anyway, but for most tweets with a recency context this could be useful.

Tweets Archiving

I would love to see an archive option in twitter. Our understanding of the world keeps evolving and sometimes, we end up contradicting our earlier selves. Add to this, tweeting is impulsive too. So imagine, if you would like to begin with a clean slate, you could archive all of your tweets and begin again (so new followers would be oblivious to your past tweets). We could also archive annually if this could be available as an option on the settings menu - e.g., archive tweets every month / year etc. Once the tweets are archived, those tweets should not be visible to the general public.

Public / Private visibility per Tweet

With Twitter, it has been an all or nothing affair. You can either have a private profile - in which case, your tweets aren't visible to the general public (only your private followers can see it) or your profile is public - in which case, everyone could view your tweets. If we could have an option to allow some users (say family or friends) to view private tweets and other tweets for the general consumption of the public, then this would be useful. Some tweets are of the nature of talking to oneself, i literally use my private twitter account for tweeting insights / notes to myself. And some are reactions to others tweets (which implies we wanted to say something to the user - this should ideally be public, but isn't the case if your account is private). And some tweets are good for public consumption.

The judgement about which tweet should be in the public domain and which tweets should be private should be left to the user.