Dick Costolo

The Age of the Lying Twit

Twitter CFO says a Facebook-style filtered feed is coming, whether you like it or not

The headline itself is the lede: “Twitter CFO says a Facebook-style filtered feed is coming, whether you like it or not”. Mathew Ingram brings the detail for GigaOm:

Earlier this year, when Twitter released its quarterly financial results, CEO Dick Costolo was asked whether the platform would ever implement a Facebook-style filtering algorithm, he hedged his answer by saying he wouldn’t “rule it out.” According to some recent comments from chief financial officer Anthony Noto, however, the company is doing a lot more than not ruling it out—it sounds like a done deal. And while that might help improve engagement with new users, it could increase the dissatisfaction some older users feel with the service.

The bottom line is simple enough; it’s just something that consumers need to remember to translate. Kind of like conversing in a foreign language, it gets easier with practice, until one day it occurs that we aren’t translating anymore, but simply thinking and processing in the form of that given language.

Beep Beep BoopFor end users of software technologies, what this means is that absolutely no change billed as improving our user experiences should be trusted. To wit, bloggers sometimes wonder why their hosting service deliberately tanks the user experience while telling us it is “easier” and “improved”. That is to say, these companies are welcome to make whatever changes they want, but every time they say they’re doing this for consumer benefit? No, really, it’s one thing to add a bunch of extraneous Flash layers, so that a company can feel hip for saying, “Beep-beep-boop!” but it really is hard to say that a slower, more bloated interface constitutes an easier, improved experience.

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