Last week, rumors hit the tech waves that Twitter was changing how they handled their timeline. Rather than sorting by chronological order, it was suggested that a new algorithm-based formula would be added, similar to Facebook.
To little surprise, #RIPTwitter found its way to a trending topic and took over Twitter through the weekend.
And through #RIPTwitter, I pulled the tail on a prominent Twitter personality. Gary Vaynerchuk.
What does that mean?
Around 60+ notifications in the span of ten minutes. When you’re a small-time person on Twitter, that’s like hitting the lottery. Or knowing what it’s like to be famous for a short period of time.
Gary and I disagreed on the premise that a curated timeline was a good thing for Twitter. And during that disagreement, it came about that Twitter is having some problems in what seems like an unrelated place: core users are interacting less and new users are struggling to learn the ropes. Neither of these issues are new- they’ve been nagging at Twitter for some time now.
So how does a curated timeline properly solve that? It doesn’t come across as the best solution. The problem could be tackled head-on with a better on-boarding process for new users and pushing Lists forward as a way to organize who you follow by group or interest.
Solving Problems vs. Solving Problems the Right Way
It’s easy to take the first solution that comes to mind, apply it to the problem and hope it goes away. But putting a band-aid on a problem really doesn’t fix anything: you’ll likely be coming back later and at some point, have to actually fix it. By that point, what was a molehill may now be a mountain. And it might be way harder, more time consuming, and more expensive to fix.
It’s probably a bit natural to go for a solution that helps you make more money. Twitter was going down that route with a curated timeline, as it would have allowed them to promote more advertisements and build a pricing model around that.
But users can be fickle. Give them a poor experience on your website, and the next time they’re shopping for something you offer, they may be finding your competitors instead.
Build Trust, Not Friction
Consumers expectations have changed as they take more of their purchases online. No longer are they restricted to local options: the internet offers them hundreds, if not thousands of potential businesses to make their purchase from.
Trust and ease of use is going to continue to become even more important to stand out in the crowd. The competitive landscape of the internet means there’s always someone working to be better, faster, and easier to use than you are. They’re working to identify problems quicker and get to better solutions.
If your website is starting to fall behind, or you’re noticing interactions from your website starting to dip, it’s time to act. It might be time to consider bringing in a professional designer, copywriter, or digital marketing expert who understands the changing landscape of web that knows how to ask the right questions and get to the best solutions.
Your website (and bottom line) will thank you for it!