I am a Twitter member for more than a month now and I noticed some missing features that would’ve made things easier and better around Twitter. They don’t exactly have to be major overhaul but just polishing of what is currently present.

I am aware that there are applications such as TweetDeck that already have some of the features below. I just hope they are implemented on the website as well since I prefer doing all Internet activities on my browser. Even if the features are already implemented, they must be so subtle as I have searched every nook and cranny. That’s not good for the users.

Here they are, ranked in order of importance as I see it.

1. The idea of threads. Identifying which of your tweets a reply is for is bothersome. First you need to open the Replies tab then you have to click that inconspicuous link “in reply to [name]”. You have to do this every time for a reply. And what about when replies are being answered themselves and those are further answered? There should be a clear connection among those. How about adding to every tweet the number of replies it got so in just one click you get all replies for that tweet only. Quite simple to me. I know about the hashtags method but it’s centralized on the topic and not to the post (there’s a difference). Also consider being able to add a thread as favorite and not just a single tweet.

2. A grouping method. The current categories, Followers and Following, are just inadequate as more people connect with you. Families, friends, colleagues and other contacts are jumbled into one messy pile. Tags and explicit group tabs would’ve been better. 

3. Tweet filters. This is a continuation of #2. It’s hard to keep up with the tweets of families and friends when they’re mixed with other tweets from unknown people you followed because you want to pay them in return for following you. Again, a better group method is needed.

4. Partial privacy. Why is bipolarity so adapted on Twitter? It’s total chaos! First the Followers and Following and now we only have two choice for tweet update protection. Either we be so public the whole Twitter community knows all our tweets or we be so private we seem not to exist at all. If, again, a grouping method is implemented, we could add tweets only viewable to a certain group. Yes there is the Direct Messages option. But what a waste of time to repeat the same message to every person you want to inform!

5. URL previews. Don’t forget the URL problem. With only 140 characters available, users will opt to shorten URL’s they provide using TinyURL, Bit.ly, Ow.ly, etc. The danger lies within shortened URL’s that direct you to a harmful website. Twitter must add a preview or at least show the real URL. Bit.ly has their own preview option but only available in Firefox.

Five features that is quite easily doable for Twitter programmers. I’ll be waiting.

Conan Hughes seeks out the latest events in computers and technology. Check out his site at http://sites.google.com/site/conanhughes/ for more articles including tech reviews and guides.

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