Twitter has updated the way conversations show up, and it really puts Facebook to shame (although Facebook doesn’t exactly need much help with that).
Now, the tweets that make up a conversation are shown from oldest to newest — so you can scroll down to catch up, instead of having to scroll down to the bottom and then read your way back up to the top. It’s common sense. It’s intuitive.
This update might seem entirely alien for a whole five seconds, but once you’ve processed the change, any other method of organizing conversations will just seem wrong.
And it makes Facebook’s order of operations seem insane in comparison.
With comments on a Facebook post being ordered from top comments to bottom comments (based on positive and negative feedback) and replies to each comment nesting inside each original comment — what you effectively have is an entire conversation broken into pieces. Pieces that are not easy to put back together.
Supposedly, spam is pushed to the bottom and Liked comments are pushed up — but sometimes, it just makes no sense at all. Most people don’t even use the reply function to respond to individual comments, so it doesn’t take much for an intelligent conversation to become gibberish.
This is how it looks when it works – too bad it rarely works:
The implications of this are even worse: Facebook is the emerging platform for “the olds” — young teenagers just aren’t that interested (supposedly), and are flocking to sites that a) aren’t as “needy” as Facebook and b) aren’t full of parents —and surely the older demographic is more sensitive to confusing changes, not less. At the very least, they have less patience for nonsense.
All this means that Facebook is in serious danger of alienating the only people who use it. If they can’t rely on an influx of tweens to keep the numbers up, then they’d best start taking care of the users they have.