10 Features That Will Make Twitter Better

Mar 1 2009 by Jacob Gube | 248 Comments

Twitter‘s popularity has skyrocketed in the recent months. Usage statistics states that most people who use Twitter interact with the application via the web rather than a third-party client such as TweetDeck or twitterfeed.

Twitter’s web interface is simple and intuitive but lacks a few features that can make it much better. In this article, you’ll read about 10 excellent user interface features that can enhance the Twitter web experience.

1. Enable grouping of friends and followers

Grouping of friendsFigure 1 shows tabs that you can use to quickly see tweets in a particular group.

Twitter’s increasing popularity has gotten many people on board and using the web application. With the growing number of active users comes the need for following more people.

The ability to create groups (or categories) of Twitter users that you follow can reduce the noise in your Twitter feed and can help you immediately see updates from particular groups of users.

For example, having a group for "co-workers" or "local tweeters" can help you quickly see what your co-workers are saying or find up-to-the-minute information on local events such as traffic accidents.

2. Auto Complete in Tweets

An example showing the auto complete feature when typing a username.Figure 2 shows an auto complete dialog box appears when you type the @ symbol.

Auto complete is an interaction design pattern that involves displaying a list of suggestions as the user types in text. Auto complete can speed up the process of sending a tweet directed to a particular user using the @username format.

It will also help in times where you’re having trouble spelling someone’s username.

Another application of the auto complete feature is for suggesting #hashtags (keywords associated with a tweet) to make keyword-tagging of tweets easier.

3. Text links in tweets

Allowing text hyperlinks in tweets.

With a 140 character limit, it’s often difficult to have links in a tweet without robbing yourself out of precious characters. By allowing users to tweet hyperlinked text, not only will it give them a little bit more room for including additional characters, but will also make Twitter feeds look cleaner.

4. Tweets-threading

Twitter is a great source of information and is a wonderful forum for discussing various topics. Unfortunately, the current user interface doesn’t allow you to easily view a conversation between two or more people.

A screen shot of threaded tweets.Figure 3 show how threaded comments could look.

Coupled with the "reply to" feature in the current user interface, threaded tweets can give users the chance to participate in (or follow along with) conversations taking place in several Twitter feeds.

Threaded tweets can also serve as a means for people to find other Twitter users that are interested in similar subjects of conversation.

5. Allow Tweets directed to a group of people ("group tweet")

Group-tweeting.Figure 4 shows a possible syntax for tweets directed to a group of users using a double @ synax.

With companies and communities joining in on the fun, the ability to tweet to a group of Twitter users offers a convenient way of specifically targeting a set of people. For example, if you wanted to tweet to your co-workers, the syntax could be:

@@friends I'll be a little late for our lunch date, start ordering without me.

The double @ serves to differentiate a tweet directed to a single user from one that’s directed to a group of users.

6. Display meta data through hover tooltips

Tooltips example.

A tooltip is an effective graphical user interface element that allows users to view more information when they hover or click on a text or object of interest without having to leave the current web page. They enable information-gathering with fewer clicks and fewer pages to visit.

One way tooltips can be helpful is in seeing the bio information of a Twitter user when you hover over their username on your Twitter feed. If you see a username mentioned in an interesting Twitter update, simply hover over the name to see more information about the user that was mentioned.

7. Use the sidebar more effectively to display information

Using the side bar of Twitter more effectively.Figure 5 shows a "Recent @Replies" and "Popular #hashtags" section on the side bar.

Twitter can utilize the right sidebar more effectively by showing relevant information and statistics. For example, a "Most Recent Replies" section or a "Most Used #hashtags" section can be very helpful in showcasing the latest activities and the hottest topics.

8. Add a page that displays tweets mentioning your username

Add a page showing tweets in which the user is mentioned.

Twitter users (me included) like seeing their names mentioned. Currently, only @replies (tweets that begin with @username) can be seen in the @Replies page. A nice optional feature would be to have a page that lists tweets where your username is mentioned or where a particular tweet of yours is re-tweeted (example: "RT @username").

A less self-centered benefit for this feature is the opportunity to find people who are interested in what you have to say, enough that they update their own Twitter feed with a tweet of yours, or to see what types of your tweets are popular amongst people who follow you.

9. Highlight specific users, deemphasize others in feed

Highlight specific users.Figure 6 shows the first tweet as being highlighted, and the second tweet being deemphasized. The third tweet is how tweets normally look like in the current interface.

Users who follow many people run into the trouble of Twitter feed overload where there’s just too much going on and too many tweets to read. The ability to mark favorite Twitter users, as well as deemphasize users that you don’t care much about (but still want to follow for some reason), can give users better visual queues on what to pay attention to first when perusing one’s Twitter feed.

10. Add a Built-in URL shortener

Example interface of built-in URL shortener on Twitter.

With Twitter’s current user interface, hyperlinks are counted towards your 140 character count limit even if it gets reduced in length by a URL-shortening service like TinyURL.com after you hit the "Update" button.

One way to allow users to enter more text – without having to go to another website just to shorten URL’s – is to have a built-in URL-shortening feature. This would not only save user’s some time, but also eliminates the need to rely on other websites to perform an action that should really be handled within the system.

Got more ideas?

If you have more ideas on how Twitter’s user interface can be improved, please contribute to the discussion in the comments.

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248 Comments

brandon

March 1st, 2009

option to send @replies to your phone would be awesome

Mike Smith

March 1st, 2009

WOW. There’s not one item in this list that I’d say NO to. Hopefully the twitter crew gets wind of this article and can possibly implement these into twitter.

Awesome article

Matt

March 1st, 2009

This is excellent. Couldn’t agree more with these, autocomplete and text links!

KRAPPS

March 1st, 2009

Great article … would LOVE to have these features – WOW! Also would like a fairly basic function … mass delete of direct messages. Currently it’s a one-by-one manual process and very time consuming … basically don’t even attempt it.

Timothy Long

March 1st, 2009

Great ideas. Keeps the minimalist functionality, but would make Twitter life a whole lot easier. :)

Tom

March 1st, 2009

Every single thing you’ve mentioned here, with the exception of tweeting to a group of followers, has been something that I’ve wanted to see for a long time.

Great post!

Gail

March 1st, 2009

I would like to see the ability to italicize letters in posts. Doing that simple thing to a word may clarify/change the meaning of the entire entry.

Webdesigner Depot

March 1st, 2009

I’d add option for Google ads or your own advertisement, as well as the option for editing tweets and better control over layout/design.

Nice read!

Matt

March 1st, 2009

I like your ideas, i really do. A lot of this is already accomplished by 3rd party tools and clients.

Personally, I think the beauty of twitter is its simplicity. Yet even with that simplicity we see the formation of complex networks and protocols that improve the tool. I don’t mind leaving additional features to the 3rd party providers in fear of changes to the core comprising the simplicity of Twitter.

Louie

March 1st, 2009

If number 3 was implemented there would be no need for number 10.

Also, I think that a built in location system would be nice (I know it would be hard for the web, but I mean for twitter in general). That way apps like Twinkle wouldn’t need to use their own system.

lee hart

March 1st, 2009

I could live without 2, 4, and 8 but the rest would be awesome!

Jorge

March 1st, 2009

It would be nice if we could change the color of everything…the main area, for example.
It’s frustrating not being able to use white on the link color, because it camuflates upon the main area’s white.

B.E.Johnson

March 1st, 2009

Better Follower management. List page numbers in between [Previous] & [Next].

Create a Followed/Following page, so you can clean your lists.

Allow deletion of @replies.

ImNikos

March 1st, 2009

Hey.. These are great ideas! Especially the Built-in URL shortener and the groups.. I would also like to see who of the people that I follow are following me..
So when you go to your ‘followings’ list you can see who is following and who doesn’t..

Fatticus

March 1st, 2009

Some of these ideas are great; however, some would require extensive modification of the nuts ‘n bolts of the twitter engine, and ain’t liable to happen…

Part of Twitter’s beauty is in its simplicity, and equality. Regarding ‘groups’, perhaps a less complicated option would be the ability to switch between multiple accounts — that way, you could have a ‘work’ account, a ‘local’ account, and a ‘global’ account.

This would require far less modification.

Grouping might be doable; hover, URL shortening and auto-complete would be client-side and uncomplicated; ‘prioritizing’ is not a good idea — if you don’t like someone, don’t follow them!

Great suggestions overall.

Kevin Makice

March 1st, 2009

I was all set to meh this list, given that most of the innovation appropriately takes place in the third-party application ecosystem. However, after reading, I am impressed by the freshness and relevance of this list.

#s 1, 3, and 5 are the only suggestions that make Twitter better, as opposed to just the web interface. The web officially constitutes fewer than half of all tweets, so it is important to remember that the majority of the interaction takes place away from twitter.com. I think all three conventions, though, would be a win for everyone (although I suspect the reason text links aren’t done is the awkwardness of texting HTML).

The others may be things Twitter could consider with their website, but I think these suggestions are also something a browser plugin (like Power Twitter) could adopt. One of the many benefits to third-party development is that such changes, which may be welcome by some but not everyone, are opt-in. Simplicity and extensibility through API development are big parts of Twitter’s success.

This was an enjoyable read. I hope some of these things appear in 2009.

Shelton

March 1st, 2009

#10 is already implemented on twitter.com. Enter any long URL in a tweet and it is shortened when posted.

Richard

March 1st, 2009

While #3 is nice in theory, how exactly would you make “a little bit more room for including additional characters”?
No matter what you do, you still need tweet
1)the text of the link
2)the URL for the link

Displaying only the text doesn’t change the fact the browser needs to know where to go once the link is clicked. Somehow the URL has to be included in the 140 characters of the message.

Simon Jarosz

March 1st, 2009

The web shortner is already there!

Shawn K

March 1st, 2009

Good list, but the inline links kind of goes against one of the core functions of Twitter: mobility. Even on the go, it’s faster and easier to put in a link, which a program then auto-shortens.

Even with the web interface, putting a link in will shorten automatically if it exceeds a certain number of characters. The bitly extension will show the full link name when you hover over a shortened link.

Sometimes prettier isn’t better.

Jacob Gube

March 1st, 2009

Hey everyone, thank you for the cool suggestions!

@Timothy Long: Glad you mentioned that because the thing I like the most in Twitter is its minimalist design. I feel that these features would be very helpful, yet would still able to keep the web application simple. It’s the same with Gmail, clean and simple, but feature-packed and satisfies the needs of “power users”.

@Webdesigner Depot: The one concern I have for giving users more control with the layout is that Twitter pages might become like MySpace pages.

@Louie: Would definitely be awesome for the mobile version of Twitter!

@Matt: You’re right about the simplicity of Twitter being a great; that’s what got me hooked on it. But there are some features that would still allow it to retain its simplicity, yet still satisfy those who would like to have a little more than what there currently is now. A lot of these features, like friend-grouping, can be done by a 3rd party client like TweetDeck, but why should we rely on unofficial Twitter applications to do things that ideally would be handled within the system?

The URL shortening is a great example, this is a process that should be be handled from within the system; may it be for convenience or security reasons. Users should not be expected to use another website/web application that is not related to Twitter.

@B.E.Johnson: I agree with you on all of your suggestions. Pagination that uses page numbers is a simple improvement that can help people navigate better. Funny enough that Six Revisions just switched to a page number system from the Next page >> << Previous Page navigation system today! :) I wanted to include a suggestion about a better follower management but could not come up with a practicable solution at the moment of writing.

Alex Schleber

March 1st, 2009

Great & often creative list. A few thoughts:

1) The issue with text URLs would be that it would likely run over the 140-160 character limit that allows 1 Tweet to be sent as 1 SMS text message. Just because the URL is hidden doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be sent. I guess there could be a translation of link text back to raw (& shortened) URL.

2) Overall, totally agreed that Twitter needs to integrate the search features into the Web interface, including through clickable hashtags in the updates and maybe in the sidebar as you mention. They also need to index and make searchable user bios, and possibly Favorites.

3) Speaking of favorites, they are the stepchild of Twitter features and used by few due to lack of tangible feedback after the action (such as a pre-populated status update with e.g. “FV: text of tweet… [link to the faved status]” format, similar to what users have taken upon themselves through Retweets RT’s.

4) An RT link similar to that in Tweetdeck, even though there are issues with the RT format breaking any “in reply to” links to the RT’d update, see discussion here: http://3on.us/rt-replyto-issue

5) Agreed that “mentions” including RT’s should be shown under either “Replies” or a separate tab, as is now the case in Tweetdeck.

6) Note that hover-style extra info is available through Power Twitter FF plugin, but it makes the browser quite slow due to too much extra info being loaded.

7) Overall, group features rightly seem to sit at #1 for all requested feautures, I could see them adding this through paid “Pro-Accounts”. I know I would PRE-pay for one at reasonable price point if they promised to add this e.g. within 3 months… :)

Alex Schleber

March 1st, 2009

Almost forgot, re:the URL shortening, if you used Twitter as the URL shortener service, it should offer click stats as a Pro-Account feature.

Been playing with my own DIY WordPress-based shortener/redirect solution at the above URL.

Mackenzie

March 2nd, 2009

Uh, a lot of that just described http://identi.ca, the open source distributed microblogging service.

Users can join groups, and if you send a message to the group, it shows up in all other members’ timeline. You do that by using ! instead of @

You can also set up tags for your friends. I have some friends tagged by city. If I’m trying to find someone to hang out with in Washington, DC, I can send @#DC and it’ll show in the @reply tab of everyone I’ve tagged with #DC.

And identi.ca shows all mentions not just replies.

Mike Gromer

March 2nd, 2009

There will never be the ability to make text links in Twitter with the 140 character limit. The link, as well as the text you want it to show up as would be included in that 140 characters, so it would actually take away from your alloted space.

Grouping is the main reason I use 3rd party applications. I do follow people who update, what seems like, every minute and it gets a bit annoying.

Torley

March 2nd, 2009

Being able to reply to multiple usernames and have those show up on your /replies page would also be useful. As it stands, you have to use external tools in order to see them, otherwise you miss out on that “conversation”.

A lot of the above, I agree, are clean improvements that wouldn’t make Twitter too feature-burdened.

Liam Vickery

March 2nd, 2009

Agree with Richard and Shawn K Re: #3

Some great ideas in this list, love them.
Except number #3 – No. Just wanted to point out a reminder about twitter being simple, HTML links in tweets are the one thing I disagree with. They will be abused and misleading, and also is impossible in SMS messages, whereas currently, I can save the standard shortened links for later if I wish. No need to change this IMO.

Caitlin

March 2nd, 2009

I touched on numbers 1 and 5 on my blog a couple weeks ago.

http://www.nolemonplease.com/twitter-filters/

Johnathan

March 2nd, 2009

The feature I most want is for twitter to accept hash tags. They should be linked just like you see for a user, and you should be able to follow it.

Russell Dunn

March 2nd, 2009

I love most of these suggestions, especially: #1 group categories (which i currently have to use a separate client–Tweetdeck–for), #3 links in tweets, and #4 threaded tweets. I have an issue w/ #2, auto-complete tweets, for simply the same reason that this almost NEVER is accurate with my mobile phone’s auto-complete on SMS texting. I have a real probelm w/#5 (but maybe it’s just a bad example): i don’t think Twitter is the right tool for letting people know you will be late, for example. My personal philosophy is that Twitter–by nature of its community-announcement and/or bulletin board quality–is more about indiscriminantly releasing info to the world at large with an objective confidence. Using it to relay temporal and insignificant baggies of minutiae among your regular Twitter output (and, potentially, anyone who looks up your profile) is a service better suited for SMS texting or emailing to a specific body of concentrated (and interested) users. Let’s reserve a specifically-designed and deliberately streamlined Twitter for posts that have a life and value beyond small groups with highly-verticalized interests. The latter is just noise and bit-rate cloggage…

Torrid Luna

March 2nd, 2009

Half of these nice-to-haves are contained in http://tweetree.com/

Cheers,
Torrid

theysayjump

March 2nd, 2009

Not counting @replies to the character count would be nice, especially when @replying to a few people at once with varying lengths of usernames and you want to include a message too.

Chris

March 2nd, 2009

Great ideas!

Text links would be difficult, for saying “http://google.com” it would need something like:

search

rather than just linking to it. One way around this would be to exclude the html from the 140 character limit and then just remove the html when sent via SMS.

Chris

March 2nd, 2009

Great ideas!

Text links would be difficult, for saying “http://google.com” it would need something like:

*/google

rather than just linking to it. One way around this would be to exclude the html from the 140 character limit and then just remove the html when sent via SMS.

Kristof

March 2nd, 2009

These are some great suggestions. I would love to have tweets threaded.

I personally use 3rd party software (TweetDeck) for engaging simply because it offers (as well as Twirl and others) many features that Twitter doesn’t – like #2, 8 and creating groups.

That said, I think it will be imperative for Twitter to step up the features if they plan on monetizing. If they don’t, I feel it won’t be long before many jump to using other software.

The other thing to keep in mind about the ‘user stats’ is that a large percentage of users aren’t engaged – they may join and only update a few times before the account goes dormant. To make the stats more relevant, it would be nice to see how the top 250k users interact with Twitter. I think this would be a stronger barometer.

Michael

March 2nd, 2009

Digg feature right on each tweet!
Option to attach pole like on most forums.
Add pic option, uploaded via third party directy on twitter. Picasa, Flickr, ect
rights reserved
single tweet privicy

Michael

March 2nd, 2009

edit tweet + 180 limit.

Michael Baas

March 2nd, 2009

I like all these ideas, but 3+10 are so related (and so good!), it should have been combined into a single feature ;)

Chase

March 2nd, 2009

First of all, I love all the ideas. As someone who uses the web version of twitter, these things who be immensely helpful. I do have a concern on #5 (group tweets) How would these work for the people who receive them? Would they see “@friends” or would they see just their own @username? This could lead to some awkward situations if you group tweet to “@friends” and a person who receives it doesn’t consider you a friend.

Andrew Phillips

March 2nd, 2009

Very good ideas! Although I can’t see how the conversation threading would work without seriously altering the @reply system…how would twitter know which tweet you are replying to?

Rob Jensen

March 2nd, 2009

Great list and I agree with nearly all of them. Some of features are nice to have but would probably continue to use a stand alone solution for things like url shortener.

What I really want from Twitter is a better way to find people to follow. Their people search is horrible. Give me better tools to find people who tweet about my interest and things around me!

Tim

March 2nd, 2009

Great post! Love all the ideas, especially the ability to directly talk to a group of followers. 3rd party apps like twitterdeck allow me to group my friends & followers & followees, but being able to only address those specific people? awesome.

also, I’d love to see a 3rd party app come up with a way to be able to easily follow a #hashtag as a flowing topic of conversation. I sort of see it now, but maybe I’m missing the easy way to do it?

Anyway, great list! thanks!

sriiniivas

March 2nd, 2009

this is just cool. there were some of these which i was missing in twitter and was wondering if guys at twitter were still wondering how to do it..

tRANIS

March 2nd, 2009

Hashtag.org implementation for easy tagging of content!
#hashtag=awesome

David Radcliffe

March 2nd, 2009

Nice post! These would be great features.

Marco

March 2nd, 2009

Great article, really rounds up some great features that really could improve the service ;) .

Keep up the good work!

Bloekie

March 2nd, 2009

They could implement (9) with an idea I have for a long time, but which I can’t complete, cause of a lack of programmingskills.

My idea was to make a Kharma-system for the people you follow. There could be two icons next to the tweets (invisible like the star and reply-icons right now) which represent a “thumbs up” and a “thumbs down”. When you give a tweet a thumbs up, the kharma of that person goes up (and you might make his/her tweets more visible. When you thumb down someone enough (let’s say the mark is at 5 thumbs down), Twitter lets you know that you might want to unfollow the person.

I know the system is similar to what they use on Digg.com for the replies, but I like it, cause it makes it easier to notice people who aren’t THAT interesting in your huge list of followers.

It also wouldn’t make Twitter any more cluttered, since they could hide the icons like they do with the star-icon, which also a lot of people don’t use.

I do like all the rest of the suggestions, and they would make Twitter even better! Why keep all the cool features spread around a huge amount of programs (clients), why not just implement them? Hell, if a whole lot of people don’t like them, then make them choosable.

Dainis Graveris

March 2nd, 2009

I actually don’t understand those people still using Twitter interact, I am really big TweetDeck fan :)

But very useful tips You’ve gathered here, I still wasn’t aware of all those shortcut commands, thanks ;)

Crackerwax

March 2nd, 2009

These are all fantastic ideas, although part of me wonders how long Twitter’s going to be around given their lack of any clear revenue stream.

That said all these are features that could quite easily be rolled up into a well designed Twitter client (with possibly the exception of @@ groups).

Vinko

March 2nd, 2009

I agree with all the mentioned features, but I think Twitter’s stand point is to develop its API so that 3rd party can create mashups or native applications that does what are suggested here.

Actually, most of the mentioned features already exists in 3rd party clients/applications/services for Twitter. May be be on a personal computer (OS X, Windows or Linux) or a smartphone (iPhone, Blackberry or Windows Mobile, etc.). The only exception being the “send to group” and “Text Link” features.

I like the “send to group” feature but, like the other commenter, I think the “Text Link” feature will defeat the basic cross platform and device compatibility of Twitter.

Gary

March 2nd, 2009

You guys need to check out http://www.tweetizen.com/beta …it fills the void of some of your needs.

Anton Friedman

March 2nd, 2009

Hey Jacob,

You’ve definitely got to send this article to the Tweeter crew. And maybe follow up on it?

It’s awesome, and they must know about it!

Dave

March 2nd, 2009

-Selecting a language (other than english and japanese) for each tweet
-Autolinking #topics to search

Priyanka

March 2nd, 2009

I like points 7,8,9
10 is available in twitter apps like tweetdeck has a URL shortener built in.

The 1-6 points are I feel would complicate the software, and some of them like groups is too much like other social networks out there.

For people who wanna group they can use phweet.com or some such service.

Iip Albanjary

March 2nd, 2009

twitter is too crowded if there are no grouping facilities. I wonder how to manage all short massages and can be accessed anytime even old-old massages..

your proposed tools seems useful

Daniel

March 2nd, 2009

You could probably achieve all of these, except 3 and 5, through a Firefox plugin. Anyone got any spare time to actually create one though?

theClimber

March 2nd, 2009

For the feature 1 and 3 you have to take a look at MicroPlaza. It’s actually still in private beta, but you can have some invitations if you follow us on twitter :
http://scottgavin.info/?p=268 and http://microplaza.com

Japh

March 2nd, 2009

One thing I’d add, is the ability to mark tweets as “seen”. It’s annoying to read through 200 tweets on TweetDeck on one computer, then go to work and have 200 unread tweets again. A “seen” flag on the Tweets themselves would mean central management of that stuff :)

Cesare Rocchi

March 2nd, 2009

Hi,

nice list of suggestions. I’d add a notification functionality, which allows receiving relevant tweets (e.g. replies or messages containing a word).
Notifications can be received by desktop applications, im or mobile devices.

SpotTheSot

March 2nd, 2009

Great list. A few more:

When I’m on a user’s page, I’d like to see if that person follows me; this info could be below “following”/follow button. It would also be cool to see if we have tweeps in common (button to display a list could be under the avatar).

I also wouldn’t mind a mute button (temporary) for when you don’t want to unfollow a person, but would like to turn them off if (among other reasons) they’re being particularly chatty.

Twitterstorian

March 2nd, 2009

Great suggestions, all. As Twitter gets years and years older, there should be a better feature for tagging and tracking (or even auto-tagging?) historical tweets.

On an unrelated, but more humorous note, check out HistoricalTweets.com. You won’t regret it.

Pavol Rusnak

March 2nd, 2009

identi.ca already uses groups – it is using ! instead of @@ though

Oscar Godson

March 2nd, 2009

Why not something super simple, a auto refresh? I hate having to press refresh every time and I think a auto refresh would be nice when you post a tweet as well.

Markus

March 2nd, 2009

I’d like to see more statistical data.

CSSJockey

March 2nd, 2009

Nice suggestions, I hope we see all these in near future.

Jan Jelínek

March 2nd, 2009

All ideas are excellent. But it could change this super-tiny service to more sophisticated service. And basic idea of Twitter is that is easy.

Rohit

March 2nd, 2009

Snoozing a user for sometime would be great.
We sometime don’t want to unfollow someone but not looking for his/her live tweets…

Aaron

March 2nd, 2009

I love all these ideas. In fact, I was in one of Leo Laporte’s chat rooms just last week, whining incessantly about how Twitter needed tabbed grouping. I whine a lot, and most of these ideas would help alleviate the world of a lot of it.

As for #2, there’s already a GreaseMonkey script for FF that does that very thing. I can’t remember the name of it, but you can search for it on Userscripts. In fact, I should go look for it; I forgot to re-install it last time I installed FF.

Aaron

March 2nd, 2009

Okay, there are two different GM scripts for @ autocompletes:
http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/25771
http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/43117

That first one guesses at the name and inserts it automatically. The second one shows a dropdown list and lets you pick. I’ve used both, but I prefer the 2nd one.

Markus

March 2nd, 2009

Cool new Ideas.

Hoang

March 2nd, 2009

Totally agree with all of these suggestions. Feature #4, #6, #7, #9 and #10 may be user-optional.
That makes me really want to start my own twitter-like service :)

Ben McDonald

March 2nd, 2009

Identica already has some of these features. http://identi.ca/

Jacob Gube

March 2nd, 2009

I really hope the Twitter crew reads through your comments because these are great suggestions, keep them coming!

Geekz

March 2nd, 2009

If Twitter doesn’t add these features ASAP, none will go for the Web user interface at twitter.com.

Robin Johansen

March 2nd, 2009

I absolutely loved these ideas. Especially number 1, but really all of them are good. However, they should be made optional as been mentioned here – I, for one, woulden’t use all (but most) of these ideas:)

Mustafa

March 2nd, 2009

I love them, except #5. I don’t know why but I thought it was a bad idea :)

Asher Awesome

March 2nd, 2009

Hi, very nice list =) How about adding the ability to mass delete Direct Messages too? Since there’s a lot of auto-messages that don’t really do anything.

Asher

skweeds

March 2nd, 2009

As many have pointed out, the majority of these operations (text links and group tweets an exception) are able to be performed/implemented in the 3rd party software, or on 3rd party websites… and that’s the way I like it.
Twitter.com is simple, and I think that’s the way it should stay… if you want to view who’s following you vs. who you’re following, there’s a site for that, if you want to look at hashtags, there’s a site for that, if you want to find users with similar interests, there’s a site for that.
Other than the two mentioned, there seems to be a solution for pretty much everything.
And personally, I think 2 and 10 are not necessarily bad ideas, but they invite more spamming. If we think there are folks on twitter NOW that are annoying, can you imagine how much more damage they’d do if those features were implemented? I mean, maybe not a TON, but enough to ruffle my feathers…
Anyway, I do like most of your ideas and am glad to see your post has gotten so popular. Congrats!
I do disagree, though, that twitter itself should implement these things: 3rd party apps and sites can do most of the work. We should keep the “official” twitter simple: that’s why people like it so much to begin with. We don’t need another myspace on our hands.

skweeds

March 2nd, 2009

***Note where I said 2 and 10 in my last comment, I meant 3 and 5 – text links and group @@ replies.

@mitchpberg

March 2nd, 2009

1 and 7-10 are all excellent.

For 2-6; these’ll significantly increase the amount of bandwidth Twitter needs to push. They choke on their traffic constantly already; adding calls for non-visible data (URLs and metadata and auto-completes). The @@syntax for groups is good, but you’d need to have a blazingly-simple list-maintenance interaction.

And we might want to come up with a better design than nested indenting to show “conversation”; conversations can get very narrow, very fast.

But I hope Twitter *is* paying attention!

Linker3000

March 2nd, 2009

A hook-up wth a published text-to-speech API would be useful – especially for people with impaired vision.

Bramus!

March 2nd, 2009

A setting in the settings panel which reads “hide my updates from searchengines”. By this people won’t find single tweets when googling my (nick)name :)

@mitchpberg

March 2nd, 2009

Ugh.

I wrote “adding calls for non-visible data (URLs and metadata and auto-completes)”. I meant to finish the thought; “…will slow things down even further”.

Andrew Lane

March 2nd, 2009

While these great ideas would greatly help experienced users, twitter still features an interface and language of its own, that continue to make it difficult for the general public to embrace and use the way they do with facebook. Sure lots of people are signing up for twitter to “check it out”, but how many people, outside of technical and marketing industries (this includes some celebs) really feel comfortable enough with the interface to keep coming back, join the conversation, and build an audience? People aren’t intimidated by pictures and wall posts the way they are by hashtags and @ replies…

PS – To #6, you can do this now if you install the bit.ly plugin for firefox.

Wade Jackman

March 2nd, 2009

Those were some great suggestions! An edit tweet function would be nice as well.

Adam Pieniazek

March 2nd, 2009

Wow, this list is supreme. Everyone of these features should be in twitter and would make it way, way better. Here’s hoping we see at least the majority of these ideas implemented in the next update.

Would like to see a sidebar feature that alerts you to tweeps you might like to follow or know. It could either keep track of your address book and see when people you already know sign up for twitter or create some sort of algorithm that watches who you retweet or star and recommend similar people.

Geoff

March 2nd, 2009

Would be interested in finding out how many use Twitter from a mobile phone – we seem to have a very second-rate user experience compared to the ‘full’ web version. Perhaps mobile users could have some improvements too?

Daryl SWS

March 2nd, 2009

A great list – and all hae my vote! But will Twitter listen?

Patrick

March 2nd, 2009

Link extraction and popularity ranking like in http://microplaza.com would be nice too (wsome app, btw)!

Sean Delaney

March 2nd, 2009

Nice suggestions but it might be a while before we see all those improvements happen!

Stefan

March 2nd, 2009

I would appreciate a RT-button.

ArleyM

March 2nd, 2009

The Power twitter plugin for Firefox does some of these.

I’d like to see a time-shift option. I follow some web designers from the UK. If I could time shift them I’d like to receive their 9-5pm tweets during my work day. This of course would mean disabiling @replies for those messages since they’d be like 8 hours out of context.

Christian DE NEEF

March 2nd, 2009

Great suggestions indeed. And I’m sure all of these (and many suggested in the comments) would improve the twitter user interface, but… would they improve twitter popularity? I doubt so. Twitter popularity remains difficult to understand. I think that the secret is (partially) in the limitations. Removing those limitations may not be the right thing, then!?

@cdn

Jason Finch

March 2nd, 2009

Location, location, location! Introduce @Locals tab :)

Although Twitter enables users to add a location already, it doesn’t really “understand” these; it could easily map text-based locations into true lat/long positions to enable people to find local people more easily, or promote users to enter their actual lat/long – yes, there are third-party services that attempt to do this but having a @Locals tab would make it so much more intuitive.

Bringing together our online networking with our real world networking – and weaving our personal and business lives together – will become more and more important, and more and more natural; services such as Twitter need to keep ahead of this as blended networking becomes mainstream.

Jim Callender

March 2nd, 2009

Great suggestions, I can really see this adding value to the service, and would happily pay for these features.

Evan Williams has listened and built the service on ideas from users since the start with “@” and hashtags which were all started from users and how they communicate their messages on twitter.

http://www.twitter.com/JimCallender

Anteek

March 2nd, 2009

Great post. I love these twitter ideas and suggestions. I hope that some or all get implemented by Twitter.
Thanks, Anteek

Naomi

March 2nd, 2009

A few of these features have already been implemented in TweetDeck — most notably grouping and autocomplete — so clearly there is interest and demand for these improvements.

URLs would still require characters, even they they aren’t displayed characters.

There’s a reason why you only get 140 characters:

http://bit.ly/HNHme

–Naomi

Kay Ross

March 2nd, 2009

I’d like to see a field when person A follows person B, where A explains WHY they chose to follow B. I want to know why people follow me, and I want to tell people why I’m following them. (Similarly for unfollowing.)

Jacob Gube

March 2nd, 2009

I’d just like to say that these ideas are great! Please do keep contributing! I’ve read all of your comments and I will respond to many of them later today, but the one I want to mention now is @Jason Finch‘s comment on an @Locals tab idea. One of the things I’d like Twitter to natively support (I am aware that there are 3rd-party applications that allow you to search people’s location) is a set of features for handling locational-based tweets. Features such as: the ability to view recent tweets by people in your area (with settings that give you the option of viewing tweets without following them), to tweet only to people in your local area (with a syntax such as):

!loc There's an accident on N. College st, 10 car pile up 

Having this feature would allow people to tweet local information without confusing followers who live elsewhere (or flooding their twitter feed with irrelevant tweets).

Of course a feature like this should be optional and up to the user’s preference. Some people may not want to disclose their location, or simply don’t care about local events. I do know that, coupled with Twitter’s mobility, this feature would make Twitter a great(er) news and events source.

I just thought of a good follow-up to this post and I will contact the respective commenters to see if they’d like to contribute to the follow-up post. If you’re interested, feel free to contact me anytime.

Scott

March 2nd, 2009

Anyone remember Pownce? It was Twitter on steroids. I wish Twitter would implement all of it’s functionality.

It was sort of like a mixture of Twitter and Tumblr.

Julia @ Hooked on Houses

March 2nd, 2009

This is the Twitter I want to use! I hope they take note. Great ideas!

Chris Wallace

March 2nd, 2009

@Jacob and @Webdesigner Depot

I don’t think it’s too much control for a user to redesign their entire page. Reason being, the page you view is your own page almost all the time. So if you make it look like a crappy MySpace page, the only person suffering from the outlandish design is yourself.

Anna

March 2nd, 2009

All of that is excellent! Being a big twitter user we could definitely use this.

Alex

March 2nd, 2009

My fave is number 4 (threading). A lot of times people I follow respond to tweets from people I don’t follow, so I can’t see the conversation easily. Twitter should display (indented) the last message from the person I don’t follow that was aimed at the person I do follow. Just like your example!

Jon "The Nice Guy"

March 2nd, 2009

3 and 6 This would be a really great idea – it’s currently implemented by the Power Twitter application – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/9591 which works really well.
5 This is available in Laconica – You can tag your subscribers, and then use @#workgroup to send an update to those friends. Alternatively, if you’re working on a project, you can create a group and then use !groupname to insert that update into all the group members streams – whether you are followed by them or not – think of it like a hashtag you can follow.
7 Some of this data is displayed in Laconica based systems, but the screen shot does show some quite useful other data. I’ll suggest to the Laconica devs they pick this up.
8 is a problem which doesn’t exist on Laconica based systems – any time someone’s name is prefixed by the @ in an update, it’s classed as a reply.
10 already exists in Laconica based microblog systems. Insert the URL, and if it exceeds your maximum post length, it’ll auto-shrink using which ever URL shortener you prefer.

The long and short of this comment is that if you want these features, you really should be looking at a more open project. Laconica has tens of implementations (which is a lot, considering the length of time they’ve been working on it!) recently including Sourceforge.net, it can be used in a distributed nature (like having twitter on your own system, but being able to follow someone else’s twitter stream from your stream), is based on an open standard (http://OpenMicroblogging.org) and is developed in the open (http://laconi.ca).

Creative Wisdom

March 2nd, 2009

Amazing ideas – IF you are a firefox user, the plug-in Power Twitter has many of these features, including viewing photos and video in your tweet stream! It also allows you to see the last 3 tweets someone has made to make it easier to keep up with the conversation. RT’s are easy, just by hitting the RT button and the URL is auto added to your tweet box. I love Power Twitter and can’t see myself using twitter without it!

Tanya Curtis

March 2nd, 2009

Great information as well as tool for new and current users of Twitter. I am new to the Twitter family and appreciate the time that was taken to help out the Twitter community!

Travis Lehman

March 2nd, 2009

Great ideas! I find myself always missing @Replies. It would be nice to have a recent feed of @replies and “mentions”

rick

March 2nd, 2009

great suggestions. I look forward to seeing these ideas implemented into Tweeter!

Katherine Reschke

March 2nd, 2009

Excellent list – I particularly like the grouping and sending to @group.

I hope Twitter takes note.

Gent

March 2nd, 2009

All these options are needfull but what I like a lot is the mentioning option, this option need to be made by twitter

Gent

March 2nd, 2009

Should I add the Power Twitter firefox addon

Ted Graf

March 2nd, 2009

Both of these suggestions are for the http://www.twitter.com website interface:

1) I’ve been hoping for a simple “RT” button (just as @Stefan suggested).

2) It would also be nice to have the “Newer / “Older” options at the *top* of the listing as well. And while we’re at it, pagination would be great.

jason

March 2nd, 2009

Webdesigner Depot mentions allowing users to be able to place their own ads. I think this is a horrible idea. If anything, you’ll see Twitter injecting their own ads to become a profitable company. As soon as users start pushing their own ads, I’ll stop following. I already stop following when all people do is link to their newest article and then ask for a retweet. In some aspects Twitter has become the new spam email. People who run sites with ad placement probably love it, now people don’t just read the RSS feed, instead they get there through twitter so the page actually gets views.

Maija Haavisto

March 2nd, 2009

I like them all, except autocomplete. I’d hate it.

What I’d like are the ability to search a) someone’s stream b) all your friends’ streams for something. I often find a great link but can’t retweet it as I can’t find who posted it.

Another great feature would be the ability to link to a certain tweet easily. eg. :12345678: would create a hyperlink to tweet number 12345678.

Perhaps a retweet button similar to the reply and favorite buttons? It wouldn’t send the tweet of course, just copy & paste it into the text field (I’m sure many clients already do this).

Tim Childers

March 2nd, 2009

I love all these ideas. But if they were all included in Twitter, wouldn’t we have just re-created Plurk?

jhimm

March 2nd, 2009

i don’t think #3 makes any sense if you remember that at its core, Twitter is an SMS-based application, not a web-based application. anything someone can tweet has to work as an SMS. that’s the whole point of the 140 character limit in the first place. you can’t display a text link in an SMS. expanding it out to the actual mark-up would significantly violate the 140 character limit.

and as someone else pointed out, a built in URL trimmer absolves most of the problem, anyway. people need to accept the challenge of getting said what needs to be said in 140 characters. consider tweeting URLs as a separate tweet if necessary. you don’t have to fit it all into one tweet! that’s what makes it better than blogging.

Charlie

March 2nd, 2009

Get PowerTwitter. It has half these features in it.

jimkastkeat

March 2nd, 2009

Wow, great list. I love the @mentions idea as well as the grouping (and @@group). Having all the @mentions sent via SMS would be stellar.

Seriously, the twitter higher-ups better catch wind of this and make it happen!

skweeds

March 2nd, 2009

Thanks for the tip, CreativeWisdom! Here is the link to Power Twitter add-on for Firefox if anyone needs it:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/9591
Another useful add-on (related to twitter) I have found is Long URL Please – changes shortened URLS in twitter so you can see the full address (showing you in advance the full URL of what you’re clicking on… more importantly, allowing you to see if you’ve been there before).
http://www.longurlplease.com

And BE Johnson mentioned a follow/following page… for that you should try http://www.friendorfollow.com – Lists who you’re following that’s not following you back, and vice versa. Or, you could use http://www.doesfollow.com , which can be faster and allows you to check just
if just one person is following another.

Also, Travis Lehman mentioned missing @replies… there’s a feature for this on the twitter homepage already (though sometimes lacking), or you can use http://search.twitter.com and just search @yourname . Also, this is a feature on several 3rd party apps.

Stefan made a good point, I think a retweet button on the twitter website is a great idea. Wouldn’t take up a lot of bandwidth and would encourage (as twitalyzer.com calls it) generosity. I’m not sure if it’s been pointed out, however, that this feature is available in some of the third party software (tweetdeck for example).

Anyway, the main reason I am opposed to adding a lot of features to the twitter site itself is because obviously twitter costs money to run, and more features mean it will have to use more bandwidth, which means that we’re more likely to see the fail whale unless they beef up their hosting. So, the more of these features, the less simplicity (which i think is the main draw of twitter) and the more twitter will cost to run. And if Twitter starts using ads for revenue, I think it will go down the drain, just as myspace and facebook have (in my opinion).

The internet is all ads now, so I think twitter is very refreshing in the fact that it’s free of them. My number one hope is that it stays that way.

Mark Aaron Murnahan

March 2nd, 2009

I like all of these ideas, considering the shocking (to me anyway) number of people using the Twitter Web interface. I saw a number of somewhere in the 40%+ range. Even with the many available applications, many people still use the site, so it is best to make it very functional. After the Fail Whale a moment ago, #11 could be reliability. :-)

When Twitter went down, I just had to check, and sure enough, Skittles.com displayed Wikipedia. However, in just an instant, it was back to Twitter.

Brian Culler

March 2nd, 2009

Tweetdeck (on osx) does quite a few of those already.

Sam Sethi

March 2nd, 2009

Hi Jacob

Great list and some wonderful comments/idea. I’m co-founder of twitblogs.com and we have already implemented several of the features you mention. – i.e 4 (threading), 7 (enhanced sidebar),10 (Tinyurl) and in the coming weeks we will be adding in lots more features including highlighting and metadata.

Mark Aaron Murnahan

March 2nd, 2009

One other note: The threading is a great feature, and considering others like TweetTree.com are already doing it, this should be a priority. I saw that on TweetTree, it even automatically embedded the video for YouTube links I had sent.

Barbie Volper

March 2nd, 2009

Probably would be helpful for #followfriday which is to use right mouseclick over all the names to add to follow, unfollow, DM, reply, block than going to their website or copy/paste the names

Codevprojects

March 2nd, 2009

I would say definitely no to adding ads because this would seriously detract from the user experience and take Twitter in the wrong direction. My take is that I am on Twitter to interact, to network and to learn. I am not there to sell or be sold to.

I’m not sure about:
#3 – technically won’t work as others have pointed out and personally wanting to keep Twitter UI as simple as possible
#6 – while I see how it could be useful I’d rather not have the added information and distraction – feel the same about #2 but not as strongly

Would like to see:
- Delete DMs with an option to delete all
- smarter search where today slight differences in syntax and/or spelling can make the difference in finding some one or not, this should evolve to be more like Google’s “did you mean” feature

Overall, it would be great to see some of these changes but it would be ideal if Twitter could make as many of them optional as possible. This way if you want to keep the UI and experience much like it is today you can, but if you want to jazz it up without going to a 3rd party tool, you can do that too. Always opt for flexibility.

martin

March 2nd, 2009

but, url shortening is still here, with tinyurl.

John Fredrickson

March 2nd, 2009

Nice article Jacob. We built Tweetree ( http://tweetree.com ) around the idea of threading tweets, but we are always looking for new ways to improve on the standard twitter interface, so we’re definitely going to be taking a look at some of these ideas.

Jason Nelms

March 2nd, 2009

Everything is moving to location awareness. Twitter will be left behind if they do not figure out how to incorporate this in the next year.

Eric Miltsch

March 2nd, 2009

TwitterPower helps w/a couple of these items…#8 & the user tweet history in hover format…plus it includes Facebook updates as well…

Brandon Hansen

March 2nd, 2009

#3 Wouldn’t work because of the 140 character limit. The text-based links would be really nice, but in order to do that you still need to have an anchor tag. That anchor tag is going to take up a minimum of 15 characters, so this would be an issue.

I would really like to see the ability to somehow find those who I am following. I cannot always remember how to spell my followers username, so it would be nice to find them somehow.

Steve Poole

March 2nd, 2009

Excellent suggestions. Hope twitter is listening.

Alex

March 2nd, 2009

Tweetdeck takes care of the recent @replies thing. I guess we want tweetdeck features in actual Twitter?

Daniel Spangenberg

March 2nd, 2009

There are some interesting things.
I hope I will see some of them.

Lisa Torres "The Social Butterfly"

March 2nd, 2009

Great info. Thanks for sharing!

I would like to see a “WHO’S ONLINE NOW” icon. Like what myspace has when you go to someone’s page, you can see that they are online RIGHT NOW!

Another thing I would like to see is maybe an internal CHAT,… like what facebook has where you can chat live with other members one on one!

That would be super cool!

Lisa Torres “The Social Butterfly”
LisaTorresOnline*com

Mariana Maya Photography

March 2nd, 2009

I love the thread idea. currently some ideas/replies get lost.

amin4real

March 2nd, 2009

twitter is simple, and it makes it cool…
imagine a celebrity or and old guy (or someone who doesn’t have a lot of time) using twitter, and he faces thousands of options that he/she should set them and answer them…
and it gets useless for most of people that we love to see their tweets….

Kevin

March 2nd, 2009

Hah! Identi.ca already supports many of these (groups, mentions, url shortening…); and being free & open source I bet it’ll support the rest soon enough :-)

Join the #twitterexodus!

Nova Spivack

March 2nd, 2009

Great suggestions, I hope the Twitter team is watching. In particular the threading feature would be most helpful. I like your suggestion for group tweet syntax too. Nice work.

@AronStevenson

March 2nd, 2009

The future of twitterland – I love it, these ideas will make life even tweeter

Brian Tristam Williams

March 2nd, 2009

I posted a YouTube video as /numetro and it was automatically tinyurled, and that was on Twitter itself, so the feature is there already.

mwm

March 2nd, 2009

I built http://twittereader.mwmdev.com/ and I might be adding some of these ideas :)

Jeannette

March 2nd, 2009

I wish Twitter had a way to put in Interests when you create your account. I think that’d be an easier way to find people with similar interests. I love all these suggestions!

Ben Nadel

March 2nd, 2009

Wow, these are some really great suggestions.

Luiz Lopes

March 2nd, 2009

Those are awesome feature, I really hope we see them in production. I would really like to see text hyperlinks.

Blake Samic

March 2nd, 2009

The group feature is long overdue! I’ve found a way around it for the time being using a little hack with the Tweetie iPhone app – read about it here: http://blakesamic.com/2009/03/02/twitter-focus-solving-the-groups-dilema/

Meg

March 2nd, 2009

Fantastic post! You should contact the powers that be at Twitter and mention these! Who needs search anyways? JK!

Jen

March 2nd, 2009

I would like the ability to select to show @replies or not for individual people I follow. For some, I am interested in seeing all of their @replies, but for others there are just so many that I don’t want them all in my feed.

Bryan Irrera

March 2nd, 2009

What would work great for #1 (the sub-groups) would be if once we assign people to the subgroups, those groups could be assigned a color and we could see a different background behind their respective tweets in the “all” tab (we don’t have to go to twitter and then keep shifting our focus to all the different sub-tabs necessarily unless we’re in a particular conversation for some reason).

SpotTheSot

March 2nd, 2009

Forgot to add one more: It would be great if, when going to next or previous tweets, my number of following/followers/updates were updated.

DemoGeek

March 2nd, 2009

Creating Groups and configuring who-sees-what would be a must have. The ability to tweet to ourselves would also help (no one else sees it). Any vote for increasing the 140 count?

Andrea_R

March 2nd, 2009

Something very simple: when I’m visiting a profile, show me if THEY are following ME.

Tim

March 2nd, 2009

Some of these are good suggestions, but stuff like embedded hyperlinks means it won’t work with SMS… Which isn’t such a big deal, I guess.

Aroinak

March 2nd, 2009

Whoa… I want them alll! Great ideas, dudes! Oh man, those would make my life that much easier.

slavezero

March 2nd, 2009

Wow… excellent list. I hope twitter implement those ideas. I like the “Text links in tweets” it will really help in maximizing the 140 character limit on twitting.

imtiffanyterror

March 2nd, 2009

I want to be able to filter groups. If im at my friends place and lets say im pissed about something there. Maybe I want to twitter bitch but I don’t want them to see it. If I can filter my local friends out, there no problem!
Id also like the option of making some tweets friends only and some public, maybe by clicking a radio box or something.
Basically I want all the options I have on livejournal on twitter. Haha

andrewho

March 2nd, 2009

a couple of those features are on 3rd party twitter clients

the built-in URL shortener isnt as needed if you can hyperlink texts….

a “friends you might know” feature would be nice too… ala Facebook or MySpace, etc…

prismaya

March 2nd, 2009

Implement them all please! :D

Beth

March 2nd, 2009

This is awesome. I’m pretty sure if Twitter had these I’d twoot all day.

tinkertoytech

March 2nd, 2009

Auto completes and expanding the bio, and tell me, when did it change that I can’t delete my old dm messages? Also, I’ve been told I’m a good tweeter, I’m looking for good tweeters, tweet me and we can make beautiful text together

djrobbiemartin

March 2nd, 2009

i would like to see the ability to obliterate someone…like not just block them, but block the tweets of others that mention said person….

CJ

March 2nd, 2009

I’ve barely started using Twitter, and it’s the shortcomings noted here that have kept me from fully utilizing it. Great list. I hope someone at Twitter is paying attention.

gfxchick

March 2nd, 2009

Fantastic! Everyone of these suggestions is on my wishlist.

Iva

March 2nd, 2009

My most desired feature would be a possibility to make tweets friends-only on tweet per tweet basis.

Miguel

March 2nd, 2009

While so many of these ideas sound really great, I can’t help but think that Plurk already includes many of these feature. Just seems like Twitter would just be stealing some ideas…

faddah

March 2nd, 2009

tweetdeck already does #1, 8 & 10.

Kiera

March 3rd, 2009

All of these sound great! I’d definitely be happy if all of these were used.

Ari Herzog

March 3rd, 2009

The only thing I’ll add that nobody mentioned (oddly) is the ability to search your own direct messages. Due to the API, I don’t think this can be accomplished with third-party tools as-is.

I currently send all DMs to email so I can search them there, but if I can remove the need for incoming emails, all the better.

Andy C

March 3rd, 2009

Although built-in URL shortning is obviously a desirable feature, the proposed design of #10 is bizarre in the extreme.

Why on earth do you need a context switch to enter the URL into the ‘Shorten and insert’ box ?

Why on earth do you need click an ‘Insert Link’ button ?

The whole point of the feature is to save the user time – remember ?

What a user really wants is to type the text in including the full-blown URL ? If the total text exceeds 140 characters, then shorten any URL’s using the user’s preferred, configurable service.

This way, the user doesn’t even have to think about it – he just types – which is just as it should be.

Of course, this is precisely what identi.ca’s implementation does.

Having said that, I expect some wizard programmer at Twitter to catch hold of this brilliant proposal for a new ‘feature’ and implement precisely what you have suggested :-)

Akila

March 3rd, 2009

Really cool suggestions. We have to use 3rd party apps because twitter doesn’t provide such features.

@Andrea_R : When you visit to someone’s profile if the “message” link is there, it means that the particular person is following you.

Glenn

March 3rd, 2009

wow, these are all very good examples of usability, you find to pump more information without cramping it! nice article

Tomihawk

March 3rd, 2009

Groups might be useful but, to be honest, I could live without any of those features being implemented. The only feature I want to see is the ability to turn off reading @replies from specific users. It needs to be a setting for each user I follow (or each group if #1 is implemented) instead of a global setting.

For most people, I want to see everything, including their @replies to other people. However, there are a few people who use twitter more like a chat application and send 100s of @replies a day and it just fills up my friend timeline.

alika

March 3rd, 2009

Forgot to add one more: It would be great if, when going to next or previous tweets, my number of following/followers/updates were updated..

Joey

March 3rd, 2009

I m also missing something in that list:
to search for users by tags of their interests/hobbies (i.e. sports,cooking,webdesign…) not only by name.
Even better would be if I could structure the people i follow by tag-groups (group cooking, group sports and so on)
If someone doesnt want to be found by tags, he/she just leaves the tag-box empty or set its content on “private” or “just for my followers”

PabloS

March 3rd, 2009

Power Twitter Add On for firefox does all of that:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/9591

Being using it for a few days and it’s awesome!

Rick

March 3rd, 2009

Smart groups. Like I have a smart playlist, I would love it if I could say all people from a specific city.

I would also like to mark ppl as spammers so that I could see their spam rating before I approve them. Or even not allow someone with a specific spam rating to follow me in the first place.

amarygma

March 3rd, 2009

I’d like to be able to either archive or delete/deemphasize read tweets. This could be to save a link for later or to eliminate particular tweets I’m not interested in from tweeters I normally like.

Shelly Colvin

March 3rd, 2009

One thing that annoys me about twitter is that you can’t properly search through previous tweets. If Twitter would enable a date search through the logs of tweets you are following that would make referencing a tweet a lot simpler. It took me about 20mins one day to page through all the “older” tweets just to find this one that I was looking for. I read the tweet but at the time didn’t think to mark as a favorite because I didn’t think it would apply to me. Then sure enough the next day at work someone mentioned something and I wanted to share the information withe them but had to find it first.
I think another helpful tool to twitter would be to similar to the favorites however you can pick and choose which of the people you wish to view their tweets. So say you follow 100 people but you really only want to see whats going on daily with say 30 of them, well you mark them as Super follows or something and then twitter filters out all the other tweets. I love reading from all the people I follow however it gets bogged down really quickly and those who tweet about “I just brushed my teeth” and so on make it cluttered to find the tweets that are providing vital information. Maybe this would be solved as mentioned above with creating groups of people. However I do agree with PabloS’s comment above and Power Twitter from Firefox add-ons has made Twitter a lot more user friendly. However even that could use some tweaks. :) Thats my 2 cents :P

Roon

March 3rd, 2009

Would love to see the group messaging function!

Alan

March 3rd, 2009

Excellent list, I hope the guys there add these to their plans.

Ahmad Alfu

March 3rd, 2009

Awesome list!

seynaeve

March 3rd, 2009

[Sorry for my poor English]
A simple and easy which has nothing to do with the interface or ergonomics:
A simple button type “report this account” to say that it is not affirming official account. The twitter team then shook informed accounts of malicious or misleading.
This would allow companies, celebrities and others who have not been take the twitter train from time to return to the race and the network does not know as a game of jokers.

Mike

March 3rd, 2009

Yea if all those things were included on the web version I’d be a happier tweeter.

S

March 3rd, 2009

Any way you can see the people you have in common with another user? Similar to the facebook feature of being able to see what friends you and another person have in common?

klixpaan

March 3rd, 2009

Great post. But for twitter to be compatible with mobiles (like sms and not so smart phones) it can’t do n°3, but it would be interesting to have dough.

Marc Rohde

March 3rd, 2009

Great list and a number of great features but a couple comments:

In-line links would likely kill some cell users since it isn’t compatible with SMS. I doubt it would or should happen because it would be a problem for the core users that built the services.

Groups may be redundant since there the community started using # tags. Having the option to subscribe and search on # tags would be a more productive option IMO.

Jennifer Roland

March 3rd, 2009

Yes! Yes! Yes! I NEED grouping for my tweets.

Coral

March 3rd, 2009

Agree with brandon–would like to be able to send @ replies to my phone.

Also, I’m not so sure about 3; it breaks the nice fits-in-a-text-message behavior of tweets.

Otherwise, I am in complete agreement. I hope they follow your suggestions!

Bloggeries

March 3rd, 2009

Great list!!

I’d love to see when you joint it asks “What are your interests?” and you enter keywords and then when you get to the recommended people to follow page it matches that with your actual interests.

abisail

March 3rd, 2009

as I read this article I kept looking back to see where I could actually download these amazing, problem-solving apps, only to discover they haven’t been invented yet. please, seize the day and develop these critical, time-saving, Twitter enhancing apps!

Wes Wyatt

March 3rd, 2009

These are ALL fantastic ideas – and I’d to see em’ all implemented!

I have one thing I wish they’d fix first though – being able to follow people! I’m dead in the water right now!

I know they’re trying to combat SPAM or Twammers – but I’m not spamming – and somewhere on some list have to have been tagged. It’s REALLY frustrating!

I’m sure there are many others in my shoes! I created the Hash Mark #followlimit for those that are having the same issue. And if you are – please Tweet and use that #followlimit Hash Mark at the end of it.

Have a DYNAMITE day!

P.S. – Follow me on Twitter – http://www.Twitter.com/weswyatt – because I can’t follow you! ;)

Vince

March 3rd, 2009

I would LOVE to have a “mutual friends” thing like facebook. Easily know if they’re the person your other friends are following and in what groups!

David Sparks

March 3rd, 2009

those are all great suggestions!
Hope they put some to use.

@CoolTweets

Joanne

March 3rd, 2009

All of the ideas are super, but I especially vote for #4 – threaded tweets!

faeryqueen21

March 3rd, 2009

I’d like to be able to block or ignore @replies from certain users. Like, people you’re following who use it as a chat room and clog your feed. It’s fine if that’s how they use Twitter, just leave me out of having to dig through it!

InvoiceNinja

March 3rd, 2009

These are all fantastic ideas really. The one I’ve always wanted the most is the ability to favorite DM’s. They’d still be private like before, but just having a way to star them and have a separate tab for them – just like you can with normal tweets and @replies – would be simply wonderful.

Luke

March 3rd, 2009

Great post. All of these ideas would actually be really useful.

KevJaques

March 3rd, 2009

BE Johnson mentioned paging buttons, I think they should also be at the top of the page for users who read their tweets backwards, also if using the top paging buttons then the focus should drop to the bottom of the page so you can read up again.

FlatGreg

March 3rd, 2009

I like them all, but besides the two group related improvements they’re all web-only improvements. Isn’t text messages what twitter was supposed to be all about? I wouldn’t turn down the web updates, but adding groups would greatly improve the SMS aspects of twitter.

Jacob Gube

March 3rd, 2009

Hi everyone,

Yesterday, I promised to respond to some comments made on here and I sort of fell behind on that. I’ll try to do that later on tonight. I can’t say enough how much I’m amazed at your great ideas.

Iaax Page

March 3rd, 2009

Great about everything but the third point, however I wouldn’t see the need if you are already adding the functionality of the point #10, besides the fact that translating the link “back to raw” as Alex Schleber said, could be much of a trouble.

Nick

March 4th, 2009

Great post man, nice ideas, hopefully these’ll be implemented as currently I am growing tired of how Twitter runs.

longer paging

March 4th, 2009

what do they have .. 20 twits per page? i would like to be able to have a setting to set longer pages. i personally would like to see 50 twits on my home page before i have to click to the next page.

just a personal pref. I think it would improve twitter.

Jason

March 4th, 2009

“There will never be the ability to make text links in Twitter with the 140 character limit.”

Why not use standard markdown syntax?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markdown

Make links like this: [link text](url)
For example: [Click here for Google](http://www.google.com)
Would look like this: Click here for Google

It would be more readable in both plain txt/sms and standard html. Plus, you could still use URL shortening services to keep it under 140 characters.

Michael Baas

March 4th, 2009

I’d also like an ability to D users even when they are not following me. Of course that creates the possibility to spam ppl and the only idea against it would be options
a) to block select ppl from D’ing me
b) to suspend accounts that send > x Ds with the same content to ppl not following them.

But when thinking about apps in customer support or ‘customer relations’, there might be cases where you wouldn’t want a public msg (i.e. someone complaining about your software – and in fact he is just missing pretty basic features and needs RTFM, can easily imagine that even a polite reply might be a bit embarrassing for the person and it would be better to D in such cases).

Brian Cray

March 4th, 2009

AMAZING list! Well articulated and all of these would be sweet to have! A great tool to use in addition to Twitter is http://nearbytweets.com

jane

March 4th, 2009

Excellent suggestions. Hope twitter is listening…

Ryan

March 4th, 2009

I actually wrote a post about a feature that would be cool: an address book?!

Check it out:
http://is.gd/lM4Q

Chris Lockwood

March 4th, 2009

I think most of these ideas are good ones. I hope someone who works at Twitter reads this article.

#1,3,4, and 8 are my favorites, but I wouldn’t mind seeing all of them implemented.

Dot Com Dud

March 4th, 2009

Awesome ideas that really would be beneficial to the web interface. I use TweetDeck which fills the gap with a lot of these features. I’m not sure about #5 though, I could see it being exploited by spammers.

Andover IT

March 4th, 2009

Would love an option to run several Twitter accounts through one sign in. Handy for running a personal and work Twitter together.

I know there is something out there but in-built would be better.

Matt

March 4th, 2009

Great ideas. I’d also like to throw out the idea in addition to number 10 for Twitter using its own short url service similar to ff.im for FriendFeed.

Prerna

March 5th, 2009

Second one i.e.”Auto Complete in Tweets” is the most important according to me.

@JeromeShaw

March 5th, 2009

Great ideas… even a novice user like myself can see the benefits of tools like these. I hope Twitter is listening.

One other item I’d like is the ability to add additional web links on my profile and perhaps an automatic RT feature

tobetop

March 5th, 2009

sorry, i don´t follow.
i think the keep it simple of twitter is the key to their success.
the more function, the more complicated, means more entry barriers!

my 2ct

radith

March 8th, 2009

it would be great if you provided the way how to do those things

talinee

March 9th, 2009

http://140it.com/ allows you number 10, but you have to use the toolbar button for it.

Matt

March 10th, 2009

Tweetparty.com takes care of #5 really well.

Rishi

March 10th, 2009

You would think that some of these modifications (like the hyper-linking and threaded Tweets) would already be implemented. =/. Great list!

you.go

March 13th, 2009

I couldn’t agree more with the list of improvements. In fact, people in our company were so frustrated by these shortcomings, that we made a whole new version of Twitter that actually contains most of these features. The good part is that Koornk (www.koornk.com) can be connected to Twitter, Facebook etc. using Ping.fm, so you’re good to go.

We’ve even been featured on TechCrunch as a blatant Twitter rip-off, but they failed to notice all these features in Koornk that are missing from Twitter.

I hope you guys check it out and make use of it, at least until Twitter makes a move :)

Erik

March 13th, 2009

Love the suggestions. Number 10 would be especially good, but all of them are great.

Tulin

March 17th, 2009

I think auto complete in tweets would be a good idea.

The other ones… no, please. With all that features it wouldn’t be twitter. Twitter is simple, and that’s why it is so perfect and had become to millions of users.

Keep it simple. I love the twitter way.

Dan

March 23rd, 2009

Have you tried power twitter cool tool

mark mason

April 1st, 2009

I wrote a function that only follows MOMs. Should I share it?

Screen Name:
Password:
number of Follows to add:
Search Screen name or Name for:

ma.tija

April 6th, 2009

feature #1 we integrate as topics (grouping), #2 autocomplete works for users and hashtags/topics (
http://blog.koornk.com/2009/04/04/inline-media-topics-and-other-new-koornk-candy/ ), #4 threading at status detail – responses and retweets ( http://koornk.com/status/393773/ ), #8 mentions are there (koornk) from jul08 (twitter just invented it), #10 already built-in url shortener and more from “11 feature”: notifications, search users by tags, retweets and more … at koornk.com :)

Jason Finch

May 26th, 2009

Further to my comments here, I’m now working on a project looking at localizing global conversations – http://gmeet.com – not even at beta stage, prototype will be launching soon for interested people to try.

Jason Nelms(PottyMouth)

June 4th, 2009

I would like to see a new Retweet display. Instead of taking up valuable character real estate in the tweet with ‘RT @personsnamehere’, I would like to see the tweet appear as though the ReTweeter posted the tweet. Then to give credit, add a ‘via username’ tag to the bottom of the tweet like it does to tell you what application you used to send the tweet.

Joash

June 30th, 2009

There should be an Applications/Connections tab to access apps such as twt.fm faster. Or better yet a bar on the bottom of the screen displaying the apps like Facebook.

PelFusion

July 29th, 2009

i was finding difficult to search in your own updates… but twitter has implemented it now

Tony

August 13th, 2009

How about being able to see images on the main Twitter stream of tweets? Rather than going to another outside API application for pictures.

Gina

August 13th, 2009

I believe it would also be very cool if Twitter would let people upload their pictures normal size, instead of having to shrink them to fit. Also, it would be awesome if people were could add albums too.

@millzz

September 17th, 2009

A MUTE Button PLEASEEEE!! Thx =)

@Calli

September 25th, 2009

I would love font formatting, BIU and colour… and embed image facilities….as well as all of the above naturally!!

#links that redirect and collate conversations

If you list three or more trending topics in any one update- you are automaticlly deleted as spam

I could of course go on….

Calli

Camilla

September 29th, 2009

I like to be able to see how many people that visited my Twitter each day.

sREeTWEETS

January 6th, 2010

I see that the 8th suggestion “Add a page that displays tweets mentioning your username” has been implemented by Twitter!
Great work, thanks, keep it up.

Malhar @ MyTFace

January 27th, 2010

This post seems to be twitter wiki. Great work.

kevin

February 16th, 2010

HOW do we get these 10 features?

Joey Cleveland

March 10th, 2010

It looks like they listened to some of the suggestions. I really like the lists feature. I’d really like to see some live stats.

Dianna

April 16th, 2010

I want to be able to have my feed public, but have the option to approve followers. It gets annoying to have to block people I don’t want following me.

DavidD

May 27th, 2010

Great listing. I needed something like this to help me wrap my head around it all.

Señor Swinstead

July 6th, 2010

Interesting to look at this post over a year later and see that some of these things have been implemented i.e. user lists and hovering tooltips.

Autocomplete seems like such an obvious one to implement. Facebook beat twitter at their own game.

I think a few of these things would really clutter the interface though.

Text links would be great but what’s the UI for creating them? Seems like the single-input form would have to get more complicated.

Aaron

October 28th, 2010

these are great!
also being able to control which of the people you are following actually show up on the feed.

Andrew

November 2nd, 2010

Why would you follow someone you don’t want to show up on your feed? that seems kinda anti twitter

John Ortiz

January 19th, 2011

I’m using TweeGo Mobile but it does not support all these features. But, that app is being updated constantly. Thanks for this useful information.

Shovan

April 13th, 2011

Hootsuit is a good one

obby

June 14th, 2011

you have a good idea.
i aggre with your idea no.3, 5, and 9

Darryl

October 5th, 2011

I think they also need a feature where you can create lists that follow not just users, but hashtags too. So people could follow a list that only contains posts with certain hashtags from certain users.

Ryan Tomlinson

October 7th, 2011

I think that twitter should show you how many more tweets you get before you get put in Twitter Jail.

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