Twitter has made a subtle but important change to user profile pages on Twitter.com, adding a ‘tweet to’ box that allows you to quickly send a message to that user.
The feature is rolling out and hasn’t yet reached all pages, but it will be coming your profile soon, and it just might encourage other people to get in touch with you. Assuming, that is, you have less than 10,000 followers. Read on for more about this.
It’s a long-overdue implementation – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to someone’s profile page on Twitter.com and stared blankly at the screen, wondering why I have to click on the New Tweet icon and then manually type a person’s username to initiate a conversation. It’s so painfully laborious.
Seriously, it’s always bugged me that there was no one-click ‘send tweet to’ button, and it seemed a strange oversight from Twitter, so I welcome this change and I do think it will be significant.
Here’s how it looks on my profile page.
Click in the box, and you get to type your message. The best part? The @username is automatically filled in, saving you valuable time. Hello, technology!
It’s worth noting that you only see this box if you’re logged in to Twitter. And you won’t be able to see the box when looking at your own profile (I was logged on as someone else in the images above).
One curious observation. As I said, this is rolling out, so it might be a coincidence, but I haven’t yet managed to find a single celebrity profile – or actually any Twitter user with tens of thousands of followers – that features the new ‘tweet to’ box. In fact, as far as I can tell, it seems to always show up on profiles with less than 10,000 followers, and never for any above that.
Whereas Jack Schofield, @Documentally and Graham Cluley all have more than 10,000 followers (but not massively more), and you don’t get to see the box. This is true for all of Twitter’s top celebrities, and everyone else I’ve found with more than 10,000 followers (i.e., @techmeme, Robert Scoble, @mashable, @techcrunch, etc).
Have a look for yourself. I might just have been unlucky with my selections or flat-out wrong about this, so please hit the comments if you find enough evidence to the contrary.
If this is true, and only users with less than 10,000 followers are getting the box on their page, then I can’t help but wonder if Twitter, for whatever reason, is protecting people who already get a ton of @mentions. This may well change over the coming weeks. Time will tell.