Colin Walker

on social media, tech, blogging and the internet.

Twitter: robbing Peter to pay Paul?

Twitters’ success was undoubtedly originally due to its simplicity; it was a service that anyone could use via a browser or mobile phone. Then it grew beyond its initial remit with @replies and an entire ecosystem springing up around the API – geek heaven.

That was until the crash.

Without effective scalability Twitter has been suffering and drastic measures have had to be taken to prevent the service disappearing in a puff of smoke. I would, however, question some of these decisions that have been made to keep the service running.

One of the most frequently used parts of the Twitter web UI is the replies tab but in times of stress this is one of the first things to get dropped for the greater good. Call me old fashioned but replies, and the conversation as a whole, are now what makes Twitter what it is so who is Twitter trying to keep happy those developers of third party applications or their core user base?

We are seeing an increasing number of people who, like Mel McBride, are having to turn to Summize in order to see their @replies. You can still make them and they are still logged but Twitter just doesn’t show them. Surely, it is going to be far more resource intensive to perform an API searchg for them that it is for them to be displayed natively in Twitter.

Admittedly, API calls have been reduced from 70 per minute to 20 but if the explosion of third party applications has had such a huge impact on Twitters’ performance why have they not been temporarily blocked in order to keep the core functionality intact? Why continue to support others at the expense of your own offering?

I’m sure the community would understand.

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June 28, 2008 - Posted by | Social Media | ,

2 Comments »

  1. Excellent point, Colin. You don't really begin to appreciate the value of the Reply tab until it's gone.

    Comment by Mark Dykeman | June 28, 2008 | Reply

  2. Agreed. This is the deal-breaker for me.

    Comment by bryanalexander | June 29, 2008 | Reply


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