Friday, November 6, 2009

Twitter Rolls Out 'Retweet Button' And 'Trends Upgrade'

Twitter is rolling out two new or improved features, the 'Retweet Button' and a 'Trends Upgrade'. The Retweet button seems fairly strait forward. It is just a way to simplify users 'retweeting' content. It will likely be a time saver, but revolutionary or ground breaking it is not.

The trends upgrade is a bit more interesting. It is not entirely clear what they are planning to do, but it seems as if they may be trying to purge span messages from trends. Such a move would be welcomed, but I am not sure how they can effectively stop the spam while ensuring that legitimate messages do not get blocked. Also, they talk about "higher quality results"; though it is not clear what they mean by that either. Are people below a certain follower limit threshold going to be excluded form trends? Are people that have not used the service for a minimum number of days/weeks going to be excluded. With such a high volume there is no way that they can be sorted through manually, so I am curious exactly what method they are going to use. I hope that junk messages and spam will be curtailed, but am concerned that 'innocent' users may be caught in the 'net'.

"Retweet is a button that makes forwarding a particularly interesting tweet to all your followers very easy. In turn, we hope interesting, newsworthy, or even just plain funny information will spread quickly through the network making its way efficiently to the people who want or need to know."

"Trends began as a useful way to find out what’s going on but has grown less interesting due to the noisiness of the conversation.

So, today we're starting to experiment with improvements to trends that will help you find more relevant tweets. Specifically, we're working to show higher quality results for trend queries by returning tweets that are more useful.

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