Using Twitter

You think it's pretty simple right? Chances are good you're reading this after clicking the link in your Twitter timeline and are therefore a Twitter user. I guess so, but I don't really think that it's so easy to get the most out of your Twitter account anymore, or more accurately to stop twitter from detracting from the quality of use. For about the last 14 months in particular Twitter has been making alterations to it's service that to my mind are detrimental to it's usability and I have a couple of recommendations for dealing with that (for the moment, at least).

My primary recommendation is to avoid using at all. Changes to the organisation of your timeline and the website interface of late are pretty terrible. From the recently infamous blue line but way back to the Dick bar, Twitter has displayed a priority in marketability over usability and nowhere is this more evident than on the website itself. There are a ton of alternatives for accessing the Twitter service that so far have been able to maintain a superior experience, which brings me neatly onto my second point. Third party apps.

Twitter has placed restrictive user limits on third party apps in an attempt to herd users towards its own apps. Presumably to ensure that Twitter's ad service is collecting enough eyeballs to be profitable. The official Twitter apps are poor in my opinion, and suffer the same navigation and interface woes of the website. There are still vastly superior alternatives available; for mobile devices in particular (debatably where Twitter is most useful) but also desktop computers. Take a look at what is available for your devices and which ones meet your needs.

Ultimately if you use Twitter for free (and we all do) then Twitter has to monetise it's userbase to survive. That doesn't mean you have to like it.

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