Twitter: There Isn’t An App For That

(This is a follow-up post to yesterday.)

As you might expect, I write about Twitter a lot and frequently make suggestions for changes, features and add-ons I’d like to see made to the platform.

That is, to Twitter itself.

When I do this, and certainly if and when a given post gets a lot of attention, I’ll inevitably get comments and tweets send to (or about) me that will say:

“Hey, you can already do that on [insert Twitter client here]!

That’s fine. Except you can’t.

When I make a request for change – real change - I want that to come from Twitter. Not from TweetDeck, not from HootSuite and not from whatever piece of Twitter software is your favourite, either.

It’s great when these clients show initiative and add features that improve the user experience, but unless and until they are implemented on Twitter as well, they’re always a compromise. And it’s only ever an improved experience for their users.

As I explained yesterday, if TweetDeck adds or has a feature, then great – but it isn’t necessarily going to be available on HootSuite, Twitter for iPhone, and every other client out there. I’m rarely going to switch clients unless a feature is absolutely killer, but even if I did I want to reserve the right to be able to switch back, and also to use different clients on different mediums (PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, Blackberry).

It doesn’t matter it Twitter Client X has a Twitter experience-changing feature if the other apps don’t have it too. As I said in my example, it’s no use being able to (superficially) hide a tweet on TweetDeck if it’s still going to be there (laughing at me) when I load up Twitter for iPhone.

And the answer isn’t to use the exact same client for everything I do. That’s not a solution – it’s a prison. Very rarely does one software house make the best possible application for every medium.

Real change needs to come from the platform – from Twitter. Editable tweets, filters, hidden tweets, a proper direct message system, spam controls, better privacy controls, TweetRank and conversational tweets – all this stuff is on my list. You’ll have your own. And so will the coders.

But until these requests become part of Twitter‘s list, it doesn’t matter what changes anybody makes. They simply will not be real.