5 major problems killing Twitter

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Twitter
earns a lot of praise and recognition for developing one of the most
powerful and popular web tools to date. However, its increasingly
visible problems are frustrating users and pundits who are demanding
satisfaction – or an alternative.

However,
Twitter's problems aren't easily fixed. In fact, there are 5 major
problems plaguing Twitter:

1-
Over capacity
– how many times have you tried to access Twitter
only to be hit with a jovial cartoon whale that lamely apologizes for
denying you of your addiction? Not unlike a bloated whale, Twitter is
slowly being beach by over-capacity problems; with more and more
users come more demand which is grinding on Twitter's servers and
rejecting its fans. And yet, Twitter seems unable to address these
demands despite tens of millions of dollars in fresh financing. The
problem has forced a bottleneck for users, and some are using it less
and pining for alternatives. Fortunately for Twitter, there is no
credible alternative with a critical mass to challenge Twitter…
yet.

2-
Search
– I've yet to come across a worse search engine than
Twitter's search. Try and find a person by their real name and you
will intimately understand this frustration. In fact, Twitter search
isn't even good at searching its own user names. I operate a few
accounts, and one is called “intranet2.” A search on “intranet”
does not uncover this account even though it has more followers than
most of the unknown users in its results pages (many of which don't
have the word “intranet” in their user name). As for searching
for content by keyword… forget about it; it's not worth the
aggravation.

3-
Crap, crap, crap
– its becoming increasingly difficult to filter
out the crap, and the fly-by-night Tweet spammers. My favorite of
course are the Twitter wanna-be types who follow as many people as
they can come across only to quickly unfollow them in an attempt to
massage their egos by building a follower base. While Twitter
certainly doesn't force me to follow anyone it would be nice to avoid repeated emails from the “internetmarketer” who repeatedly
follows and unfollows me (I'm sure he and his partner in the Nigerian
Ministry of Finance offer superlative, sage advice). While Twitter does provide a “block” feature, it may take 3 or 4 follow and unfollows before I recognize the need (through all the clutter) to go and block a follower. Furthermore, if
Twitter had half a search engine, then I could seek out reasonable
and credible Tweeple to follow instead of having to wait for them to
find me amongst the swarms of spammers.

4- Antiquated
technology
– I've been on Twitter for more than a year now (an
eternity in the world of demanding social media users) and its almost
exactly the same. While Yammer and other services beef-up their
technology and functionality, Twitter sits there and does little (or
nothing). Not only is the interface overly simplistic despite its use
and demand, there have been no upgrades (no discussion threads, no
Re-Tweet button, no bookmarking). Nowhere are the technology
limitations more noticeable than the problems with security. Hackers
have taken notice of Twitter's soft approach to technology and are
hammering it with viruses and worms. See
Twitter
under attack again

(VNUnet) and
Twitter
riddled with worms and scams (again)

(Register).

5-
No (visible) business model
– can we please send some grey hairs
over to the Twitter HQ? Please, bring some grown-ups into the office
and develop a source of revenue already, or sell it to someone who
can. All of the above problems could be overcome or minimalized if it
had some revenue to help address these challenges. I really enjoy
Twitter, and recognize its enormous power and potential, but I'm
going to leave in a heartbeat if an alternative with critical mass
presents itself.

Toby
Ward
is an Internet and intranet
consultant
who lives, blogs and Tweets from Vancouver, and client
locations and conferences all over North America and Europe. He is
the founder and CEO of Toronto-based Prescient
Digital Media
. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/tobyward

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2 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Toby – thanks for confirming I (a relative Twitter newbie) am not the only one feeling these frustrations. Nice to know I'm not alone.

    Reply
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