Open Letter to Twitter: Here’s why we use 3rd party apps.

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Recently Twitter decided to really clamp down on some of its Third Party App developers. A lot of that clamping down is a direct result of API violations as well as inconsistencies in how Tweets are displayed. According to Twitter “consumers continue to be confused by the different ways that a fractured landscape of third-party Twitter clients display tweets and let users interact with core Twitter functions.” Sounds to me that the bottom line is Twitter wants a more “consistent user experience.” Zzzz.. most of this conversation is all pretty boring. There are some terrible 3rd party applications out there. Got it. Twitter really wants us to use their client. Got it. Here’s a news flash Twitter; There’s a reason why we all gravitate to a 3rd party app. Your browser client sucks… and here are the reasons why:

I want to add a comment before a retweet.
Doing so isn’t supported on There is a “workaround” but doing it means you have to copy and paste a Tweet, add RT and then add your comment. Why should we have to do this? People want to. You’re not letting us; which means that you’re not listening.

Search is useless.
A few weeks ago I wanted to lookup Maytag and Tweet their Customer Support center. I searched for their handle on It resulted in mostly SPAM results. I typed “Maytag Twitter” into Google Search and found my answer instantly. Why do I have to go to Google to look someone up? It’s YOUR service!

I don’t remember every Tweet I do daily. Sometimes someone responds to something that I posted earlier. I don’t always remember what they are responding to. I have only several options. Pull my Tweet history and find what they MIGHT’VE responded to or just guess. Why is this? If Twitter is about conversations then why must I try to recollect every one I’ve ever had? Makes little sense to me.Update: Okay fine..they did this. Thanks!

Why can’t I auto append a hash tag?
TweetChat works well for this. People want to chat with others using hashtags. These “chat rooms” are a great source of information and engagement. Why can’t you provide us an easy way to append hashes to do it? I forget to append these things all the time…therefore… I must use a 3rd party app.

Why can’t I reply to someone?
I begin looking through my followers list. “OOH..there’s someone I’d like to chat with!” Rather then click a Tweet or Reply button I HAVE to type @ and then their username. Why do I have to do this? It’s bad enough that your auto find in the “What’s Happening” box never actually gets me who I want, your search is useless (see above), and now you’re telling me I have to type in the person’s name or copy and paste it? Put a “message this person” link somewhere will ya?

Who’s not following me back?
Why doesn’t your app tell me? When you click on someone’s profile in TweetDeck it tells me if they are following me as well. You don’t. This is important and relevant information. Am I not engaging with this individual enough? Since you don’t tell me Twitter, I have to go elsewhere to find out. Fix that.

Direct Messaging is a guessing game.
If I get a new direct message why do I have to click the Messages link or check my email to see? Thanks for the email but what about putting the number (1) next to the message link when I have a new one? I’m not asking for Facebook style notifications but why the guessing game? Show me if I have new messages…please.

Yeah sure we could easily make a case for adding multiple columns and additional social media streams as well. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though right? Also note that I’m not talking about the mobile app. I don’t use it and that’s mainly because the one for the DROID isn’t very good. (and buggy) I didn’t want to go there in this post.

Anything else you’d like to see added to this list? With enough discussion maybe Twitter will improve their client so we don’t need to go elsewhere… we can only hope right?

Thanks for Flickr for the image.

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