At 2:53 PM, Twitter announced the following,
The implications of this change to the core user dynamic within Twitter are many. While I'm not sure that I have yet discovered all of the implications, here are a handful that come to mind.
- The Death of Aspiration Tweeting - aspirational tweeters @message or @reply people they aspire to interact with, like @Oprah .
- The Casual Conversational with a Stranger - there are many people we may enjoy speaking to around certain issues, like a conference, a #hashtag (like #blogchat) or an event like a presidential address, but wouldn't want to otherwise follow them.
- The Boys Club - once upon a time, when you were new to twitter and wanted to introduce yourself, you participated in a conversation and people followed you back. This redesign severely restricts the visibility of newcomers who aren't yet networked.
- New Follower Emails - now you have to read them, or you'll never know who would like to engage with you.
- Selective Following is Challenged - you now must follow everyone who you would like to speak with. This may well be the end of celebrity tweeting, and even micro-celebrity tweeting, as there is no reason for people to follow personalities that don't follow them in kind (other than to observe).
- Bye Bye Broadcasting - unless you have non-twitter celebrity status, you won't gain a following by broadcasting your life. Discovery is now contingent on meaningful conversational engagement.
- More emphasis on the conversation
- Strong drive engage with those you know Vs those you aspire to know
- The concentric circles of conversation will get smaller.
- Retweeting (RT) and #followfriday will become increasingly important as a mechanism for social discovery (kudos to @jeffpulver for sharing)
What Will Happen
- People will complain - nobody likes forced change
- If Twitter sticks to it, people will adapt their behavior.
- Many website users will migrate to desktop applications that continue deliver familiar functionality.
- The mainstream press will call this "The Death of Twitter"
- OR - Twitter will cave to community pressure and revert back to the old dynamic