Having used twitter for many years, on two personal accounts and one work one, I’ve been using it less lately. And there’s a simple reason – the icon is no longer on my phone’s home screen.
Most apps give you a notification count in a little circle on the app, in the image to the right you see that I have six notifications on my twitter account. It tells you that six things have happened on my account since I last looked. It used to be six interactions; new followers, people commenting on my tweets, and retweets. But about two years ago Twitter added notifications about updates and interesting links to its notifications tabs, and I was really quickly overwhelmed. I wasn’t alone. It’s Twitter’s effort to soak up more of your attention and keep you on their platform longer, it hasn’t worked Twitter still lags behind Facebook by miles, with 2.7 minutes a day and 58 minutes a day respectively.
Here’s what twitter says it does:
Here’s what that means, Twitter recommended I’d be interested in tweets from these two gentlemen, you’ll note that I’m not following either of them. Mr Verbruggen’s tweet was in Dutch (I tweet in English) and mentioned him having a shower and a beer. I’m sure Mr Verbruggen is a perfectly nice man, I just don’t know why Twitter thinks I will be interested in his bathing habits. The other tweet was from Henry Winter, a sports writer. I am rubbish about sport, I only care about tennis and maybe the Silver Ferns when they play Australia I’m pretty sure I’ve never tweeted about football. But Twitter thinks I might be interested in a book about English football?
There seemed to be no way to opt out of this nonsense, and the twitter “recommendations” quickly overwhelmed the genuine interactions.
I got fed up. I moved the Twitter icon off my home screen on my phone, my twitter interaction declined. I once used it every day, It used to be my news feed, I followed people in tech, NGOs, companies I like, people I’d met at conferences and comedians. I barely look at it now except when I make a blog post.
Twitter’s efforts to engage me on the platform have had exactly the opposite effect. I haven’t even added the app to my new phone.
Please Twitter, just stop it.
And would someone please notify me when this is fixed? Thanks.