I’ll make my own list of likely and less likely improvements I’m hoping for under Twitter’s new management:
- Make accounts and lists into RSS feeds.
- Stop aggressively promoting the non-chronological feed (you have to go to the very non-clickable looking stars and select between poorly named options to get the chronological feed, a.k.a “Latest tweets”, and then have it randomly switch back every few weeks.
- Open up the algorithm that is used to promote tweets on the non-chronological feed.
- Enough with the partisan bans. The Iranian Ayatollah happily tweets away repulsive things. I don’t follow him because I don’t need “Death to the Jews” in my life. If you don’t like certain democratically elected politicians in the West, block ’em 🤷♂️
- I’d also like public block lists that are community run, much like how most popular ad blockers work. It’s entirely transparent, open source and opt in: I could toggle on the lists of people I don’t want to see such as Kremlin trolls, crypto bros, shit posters, etc.
- Go all in on inter-operability, almost like Mastodon. That way I can use whatever interface I want, whether it be an RSS reader, dedicated micro blog client (that would work with Twitter, Mastodon, others), the web or Twitter made apps.
- The fact that paid third party Twitter clients are so popular is a huge monetization opportunity away from the ad-driven model. Release an official client that’s feature rich and subscription in exchange for no ads. That’s why I pay for Apollo and not a dime to Reddit.
- If we finally get the edit button, please add a public version history.
- Better data portability would be great: I’d like to be able to download all of my tweets.
- Clean up the HTML, especially on threads and replies. Threads should go in a single
<article>tag, also if linking a reply, that reply and the original tweet should also be in
<article>tags. This is important for data portability plus viewing and saving tweets.
- The best example of what I’d like to see Twitter become is the site micro.blog.
That said, I actually like Twitter. It’s a fast and public way to share information that doesn’t have any true competitor for now. There are frivolous tweets — cats in art account 😻 — niche interests, professional content and great journalism. And there’s a whole lot of nonsense that I don’t follow or block so that it never bothers me.
For those hand wringing over a tech billionaire controlling speech by owning Twitter (I think the argument is something like giving people I disagree with free speech is restricting my rights, but I digress), there’s a far more serious media monopoly problem:
Today, Comcast, Disney, AT&T, Sony, Fox, and Paramount Global control 90% of what you watch, read, or listen to. These companies spend millions on lobbying each year to sway legislation in their favor.
There’s a much deeper censorship problem with any major Western outlet afraid to run content that isn’t fawning of China. “Mainstream media” routinely hides that guests are lobbyists making paid appearances. Then there are dubious “experts” just parroting popular talking points.
These are far more serious issues than a certain orange buffoon being allowed to tweet again, which seems to be causing existential dread in some circles right now.
Sometimes people openly say what they mean, such as this New Yorker piece:
The world’s richest man seems intent on preserving Twitter as a means for himself and others to continue influencing vast audiences without interference.
How horrendous that the filtering class, which has gotten so many things flat out wrong over the past few years, isn’t allowed to control every single bit of speech!