Should We Trust Twitter?

December 2nd, 2009 by | No Comments

iStock_000010635611XSmallRecently Twitter launched its new retweet function, in an effort to formalize that popular usage of its users. Needless to say, as usually happens with everything new related to Twitter, this change brought quite a controversy. I’m not going to get into the details, but this post by Lisa Barone of Outspoken Media seemed to have said what most people were thinking: the new RT function sucks.

Basically, people feel like @ev, @biz and @jack are not listening to them, that they are ignoring their users’ thoughts by publicly saying things like “we’ll get used to this” and that we will eventually “welcome the change.” We don’t care about that, and we are voicing our opinion And in today’s social media world, the people’s opinion is something that you shouldn’t ignore…

…or should you?

Let’s go back a little bit, to when Twitter decided to change the “Reply” function. Before, when someone replied to one of his followers, that tweet was seen by every person that followed the person who replied. Twitter then changed the system to what we have now, that is, you only see the replies that are directed to someone you are also following.

Believe me when I tell you that this change was NOT well received. I remember seeing my Twitter stream flooded by complaints and demands from most of the people I followed, saying that by removing that feature they were missing great conversations, losing sight of great people to connect with, and many other arguments. I remember because I was one of them.

And I was wrong.

After some time using the new function, I realized that the noise decreased. The stuff that I missed wasn’t relevant, and I had time to go through the important news and topics without getting stressed. Also, I ended up strengthening my relationships with the people I connected first. When you listen more, you relate more. Making that change was a master move that made many Twitter users feel closer to the software.

In the end, I think that the best thing that Twitter could have done was to ignore us, at least that time.

I still don’t like the new RT function. It’s intrusive, not personal, and opposed to what people want, but what if, once again, those Twitter guys are seeing something we are not? The idea of listening to your customers is overrated. This post from Harvard Business Review is old and still right: your customers have no idea what they are talking about!

It seems that Twitter will go with their gut once again, and you know what? Good for them. It’s by doing that over and over that they have gotten to this point. A little bit of business arrogance can do wonders for a company that works hard.

Bottom Line: We don’t have to like what they do right now. But they trust that we eventually will. Let’s give some of that trust back at them.

Carlos Miceli. Argentinian. Questioner of things. OwlSparks’ blogger. Freelance writer. Entrepreneur. Every day philosopher. Skill learner.

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