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2 Things That Would Make Twitter Better

1. Links in Twitter 

Lets face it Twitter has grown way beyond it’s original premise – a way to communicate to a small group of contacts without sending mass text messages. In the beginning the developers didn’t even have a way to reference individuals (@ was invented by the community), so it’s no surprise that they hadn’t thought that there may be issues sending a contact a link without blowing the 140 characters. Once again the community came to the rescue with short URLS such as bit.ly and even Twitter has got in the act recently with the introduction of t.co (we’ve even set up our own up – rokk.co !).

It seems to me though that the obvious trick was missed here. In HTML (the mark-up code used to create web pages) we can assign a link to a word or group of words – like this: possibly the best web development agency in the world or this ! – simple huh? So why not introduce the same device for Twitter?

Well, my first thought is how – as without a doubt it would add a level of complexity beyond cut and paste. But as many third party Twitter tools like HootSuite now allow you to paste a long URL and have it shortened ‘on the fly’ surely it wouldn’t take too much additional work to choose a word to assign the link to?

If this were implemented links could even be assigned to one character – maybe L for link, which does not stand on it’s own for anything in everyday English, and so could become an obvious symbol for a link within Twitter without overly compromising on the 140 limit. Alternatively the entire post itself could be made a link without the need for additional characters (adding the ubiquitous ‘click here’ at the front of the post). Seems a winner to me!

2. Multiple DMs

While we’re on the subject of Twitter, doesn’t it bug you that you can only send one private message (DM – Direct Message) to one person at a time? Well it does me. As Twitter was developed as a community tool why limit this functionality to individuals? There are plenty of instances where I may want to take a topic offline to more than one person and to do this now requires multiple conversations which is simply a pain. 

The way I would suggest this could be implemented would be to use the + symbol in front of multiple names. For example D Friend +Friend +Friend +Friend.

As far as I know this syntax is not used in any other circumstances and just works.

What do you think? Have you got any other ideas for Twitter improvements? Comment and let me know…


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