Despite its smaller size (at least when compared against rivals like Facebook & Instagram), Twitter is still the most influential social network online.
A few examples include:
- Elon Musk establishing a mega clean tech battery in Australia over a tweet challenge
- CEO Elon Musk suggests Tesla can help out Puerto Rico with energy needs & Puerto Rico Governor accepts tweet offer
- Domino’s allows folks to order pizza on Twitter (yes, seriously)
- Popularizing #BlackLivesMatter movement (it ironically started on Facebook but only gained momentum on Twitter)
- Trump (dangerously) escalating war with North Korea—over Twitter
While one could list 140,000 ways Twitter has influenced the world (for better or worse), what about ways to improve the social network itself‽
Image Credit: Liz Climo
Twitter’s experimentation with 280 characters is commendable but increasing letter allotment reduces scannability.
Best way to resolve this is to add a toggle (aka expandable/hide) feature that only appears after the first 140 characters are typed.
Other platforms like Instagram, Tumblr & WordPress (latter seen below) already do this lest readers be overwhelmed with information overload.
Note: Instead of using the traditional toggle symbol (which is “…”), Twitter could use a trail of feathers.
Edit Button of Pain
Image: Staples Easy Button
If Twitter implemented an edit button today the first users who would abuse it would be trolls.
Trolls would tweet something popular & harmless then wait until it became popular before editing tweet into something horrific.
To prevent this Twitter should allow tweets to be edited but at a painful cost:
- Tweets edited immediately lose previous likes & retweets
- Users who retweeted/liked original tweet are alerted to change & can retweet/like tweet again (can be turned off in notifications)
- Tweets are only editable 140 seconds after creation
This would help address needs to correct spelling/grammar without empowering internet trolls.
Star Trek Check Marks?
Twitter needs a way of confirming regular folks without handing out celebratory blue check marks like Oprah handed out cars.
One alternative is to create 2 additional verification check mark colors which should fulfill the needs of the twitterverse.
- Blue: for celebrities, politicians, organizations, et al (basically current verification system)
- Red: for regular folks. Requires them to submit government ID like passport, driver’s license, military ID, et al. (Note: green might be a better color but I had to fit the Star Trek theme!)
- Gold: prestigious check mark awarded to those who have & continue to improve world. Nobel peace prize winners, scientists, humanitarians (this can be gained or lost at Twitter’s discretion)
Adding extra verification check marks could help folks distinguish legit users from anonymous ones (the latter who more often than not use anonymity to harass others).
It also might inspire folks to reach for the gold by bettering our pale blue dot (aka Earth).
This short list is obviously inconclusive but if Twitter did add these features it could help it not only attract more users but help newcomers distinguish legit voices echoing throughout the Twitterverse.