Ten Improvements Twitter Needs To Make Right Now

Why do most people use Twitter? The majority that is? Fun? Probably. Twitter, at its root, is essentially a more commonly accepted (and increasingly mainstream) take on the chat room, en masse, affording you the opportunity to choose who you want to listen to out of those 5-6 million Tweeters.

The thing is, Twitter, as an experience on the web (i.e., Twitter.com), is pretty limited. There are certain things you can do to raise your personal enjoyment level, and we’ll get to those in another post, but there are some things that Twitter themselves could be doing to make the service a lot more user-friendly. Here are ten of ’em we’d like to see on the next major update.

A Chance To Edit Your Tweets

Like all of us from time to time I make a glorious typo in one of my Tweets. Or maybe the link is wrong (or it went TinyURL when I didn’t want it to), or I forgot to add an ‘RT’, or accidentally proclaimed my love for Scientology, or whatever. On these occasions, my options right now are limited to:

a. Living with it, or, the preferred choice
b. Erasing the previous Tweet, and re-doing it

You’d be amazed how many people do the former. You see it again and again, with somebody just posting up a TinyURL link, then realising they probably need to explain what it is, but instead of deleting the previous Tweet, they just re-post it. Thanks for that. Now I’m not going to click on your link twice.

Few people seem to have the courtesy to erase the bad Tweet, and start-over. The thing is, even those that do are at the mercy of the bad Tweet getting ‘out there’ before they can act. Cue, everybody laughing and pointing. So what to do?

Well, what Twitter should do is apply a grace editing window of 30-60 seconds. No more, as this means people can tamper with their messages after seeing the response and making themselves look better than they really are. Pretty much every social network and every forum in the history of the Internets allows one at least a moment of time to edit one’s gaffs. I don’t see any reason why Twitter needs to be any different.

Better Search Facilities

As you may know, Twitter is on the verge of making its largely ignored search function – a situation which was entirely their own doing – a more central part of the home page. The search operates in real-time, meaning when you submit a query, if you leave the page up it will keep updating for you. Which is great, and when it becomes a main part of the service, will be extremely useful indeed.

Problem is it’s not useful enough. Unless you’re a whiz with keywords, it’s very difficult to search for Tweets or users in certain criteria. For example, by location, or by the user’s bio or job description. It’s true that other services make this available to you, but shouldn’t that be something that Twitter offers as standard?

A Way To Mass-Delete Direct Messages

Sometimes it’s nice to get a DM on Twitter, maybe from a friend or somebody who has something private but significant to share. Most of the time, however, direct messages are a colossal pain in the ass. The majority are auto-sends from various follow/unfollow services (which do have their uses), and it’s true you can, with a bit of a tinker, remove yourself from these deliveries, but that doesn’t help with the hundreds of DMs you’ve already built up. I want a ‘delete all’ button, and I want it now. Or at least a mark facility, so I could remove the ones I didn’t want (while keeping the pervy stuff).