Mulligan! Twitter backtracks on unpopular change

Service mostly retracts a generally reviled change to how "tweets" show up in users' timelines but says old way "didn't scale," and improved strategy is in the works.

That was quick.

In a blog post, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has acknowledged that the company left quite a few users rather miffed when it opted to stop displaying @-replies (conversational "tweets" directed to another Twitter user) in members' feeds, if they didn't already follow the recipient of the reply.

"Folks loved this feature because it allowed them to discover new people and participate serendipitously in various conversations," Stone wrote. "The problem with the setting was that it didn't scale, and even if we rebuilt it, the feature was blunt. It was confusing and caused a sense of inconsistency. We felt we could do much better."

So what are they doing? For now, Twitter's team is bringing the feature back in a limited form (you'll see all @-replies, except for ones created using the "reply" button in Twitter's interface, which is a tad convoluted), and they're working on its successor.

"We've started designing a new feature which will give folks far more control over what they see from the accounts they follow," Stone wrote. "This will be a per-user setting, and it will take a bit longer to put together, but not too long, and we're already working on it."

You may now return to your regularly scheduled 140-character-long programming--right?

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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