Eugene Wei published a great post on the power of networks and how Twitter hasn’t been taking advantage of their core product - a public messaging protocol. Given this thesis, Twitter should move away from the artificial 140 character limit and innovate on top of the protocol rather than be bound by it.
I’m not nearly as eloquent but I also have my gripes with Twitter that his post motivated me to write. It just feels they don’t care about the user experience. Cross device sync is still a problem - if I clear a notification on my phone why do I see it again on my computer? People are still complaining about the OS X app not being as functional as the other versions. Even on my phone the navigation feels inconsistent - sometimes I get taken out of the app and sometimes a screen is loaded inside. This causes me to hit the back button at the wrong time and randomly leave the app which resets my location. I’m a big fan of Twitter and it’s pretty much the only social network I actually use but I’m frustrated by how poor it is.
It feels as if Twitter has decided to focus purely on monetization rather than evolving the product. It’s okay to do this when you’re in a dominant market position (see LinkedIn) but Twitter should be focused on making sure they’re getting new users that stick around. The only way to do this is to make a product that’s useful, fun, and easy to use.
Disclosure: I own a bit of Twitter stock.