June 05, 2013

Twitter: For the People by the People?

With only 140 characters per “tweet,” you would think that the social network that has 554,750,000 users buzzing is incredibly simple.  After all, everyone—from larger enterprises to A-list celebrities—is looking to start a conversation and Twitter is an immediate way to do so. Is it perhaps so simple that even a caveman could use it? Twitter CEO Dick Costolo may agree to disagree.

According to a CBS News report, on May 22 at the All Things Digital Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., when Costolo was asked what Twitter was missing, his answer was “Simplicity.” For such a popular social network though, and one that boasts 100,000 new tweets every minute, it is rather strange for it to be considered obscure. So, what is so complicated about Twitter?

Costolo argues that the social network has brought forth a type of “metalanguage” that only frequent users can understand. Users come up with various symbols to keep a conversation that abides by the character limitation. For example, users throw around the trending phrase #tbt instead of writing “throwback Thursday” and then post a picture from the past few years. Moreover, he explained how users will place a “.” In front of the “@” symbol when they want all of their followers to see replies that they tweet.

Sounds complicated just reading it, doesn’t it?

As a next step measure, Costolo is urging his team to find ways for new users to get better acclimated with the site and avoid any difficulties that may present themselves. He hopes to create an equal opportunity Twitter universe, although official plans have not been released yet. Does this include taking control of what kinds of information users will tweet? That is highly unlikely.

Instead, Costolo feels that since the site is not a news organization, users have the right to tweet just about anything. Although, CBS News mentioned that the company does want to partner with more news outlets as they move forward.

While there is no word on exactly how the Twitter team will simplify the social network, users can expect to see some changes in the near future. As for the site itself, Costolo aims that it continues to be for the people and by the people.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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