Twitter replies are dead, long live Twitter replies

Why is Twitter’s latest change to @ replies really spinning folks up? It’s about visibility and discoverability. No longer will folks like me be discovered via direct replies. That means that newer Twitter users, who often only get noticed via folks replying to them are now invisible to the rest of us.

How are people already combatting this effect?

1) Prefixing @replies with any odd character. Example: !@tojosan
2) Mentioning folks they’d like to be discovered in the body of the tweet. Example: Be sure to follow @tojosan
3) Beginning the messages with a hashtag. Example: #stl @tojosan, be sure to come to the Stable later.
4) Include hashtags in tweets; folks following a tag will still see those tweets. Example: @tojosan, love your photographic work at #SXSW.

What’ll I imagine is the use of #followfriday, which was tapering off, is going to be in full swing. There are follow type tags for other days as well that may come into greater prominence.

On my part, I’m going to just to put the person I’m replying to in the middle of the tweet, as naturally as possible.

What I hope would happen as well though is that folks make better use of tags on their conversations when it’s relevant. For example, if you and @geosteph are talking about NASA, why not tag some of the tweets #NASA. This would highlight to folks and attach some meaning to who they are or what they are interested in.

The tag for discussion on Twitter is #fixreplies. Join the conversation.
Feel free to rant here, leave suggestions, or share your experience already with this change.


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