Why I Stopped Hearing Twitter Management

Twitter doesn't know when to say no or to whom.

Twitter, court your users – the real ones – not the fantasy ones you chase after who look like Facebook users.

Because Twitter lacks a strong product leader, it chases after suggestions offered by people who never really got the Twitter experience. You know the type, the one who thinks vanity metrics are the measure of success. This is the person who follows everyone as s(h)e tries to increase their followers. Their timelines are measured in the thousands because, frankly it mirrors their vanity. Now they don't know how to make sense out of the noise of their own making and now offer suggestions to Twitter's management team so that Twitter will look more like Facebook. Why reinvent the wheel – copy Facebook they say.

Except, the people who really value and get Twitter are being slowly driven away. The people who tweet regularly and understand what it means to be social are the ones who don't want another Facebook. Twitter looks weaker by the week because it tests the fundamentals rather than tells investors and users what needs to be said.

What I want to hear, but haven't:

We're sorry for losing our way. Twitter is unique and we will take immediate steps to keep Twitter unique and valuable.

We will not question the value of our 140 character tweet limit or the reverse chronological order that they display in. We refuse to become another Facebook. This approach may not be for everyone, but we are convinced that our current users are here because of our unique community – one that is smaller but more influential.

Starting today, we are hiring an outside UX consultant to help us improve areas where we have been lacking. We acknowledge our mistakes and will no longer force users into endless product testing, unless they opt-in.

This is the new Twitter, creating a path that is ours for others to follow.

What I hear is the opposite. Twitter wants to say yes to whatever looks like Facebook. It stopped listening to its core users and instead chooses the voice of advertisers, marketing types, investors and vanity metric chasers – all who historically as a group fail to understand UX.

Today, it looks weak as a result and the management team clueless as to what their product is about.

Twitter chased developers away and is on a path that will soon chase its core users away.

When a management team fails to grasp the concepts of UX, it becomes irrelevant – especially when it lacks a strong product voice.

I've stopped listening to your story Twitter. Retell it so that it matters again. I'm just one pair of ears, but I know many others are feeling the same way.

Twitter management should use its own product to accumulate user feedback and ask if the endless unfocused A/B tests have been worth the risk. The message Twitter management is sending us is that they forgot why Twitter is valuable. They lost interest in their loyal users.

So, now I'm quickly losing interest in Twitter.

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