Monthly Archives: May 2011


Twitter is testing a new feature: “Jump to someone you follow”.

After months of changing very little to the online interface, Twitter has recently made a number of changes: color differences to emphasize #hashtags and @messages, fewer buttons, and email notification of favories.

The change I just noticed is perhaps the most unique I have seen.  While looking at who one Twitter account was following (this is an account I didn’t follow), I saw a weird icon in the upper right hand corner of the page.

When I rolled over it, it changed color and said “Jump to someone you follow“.

When I clicked the icon, it loaded a random “this account follows” page.  The icon was still there, so I kept clicking it and it kept going to a random different accounts (all of whom I follow), and I was shown the most recent tweets of who they were following.

I kept clicking on the icon and went through about ten different pages.  There didn’t seem to be any type of weighting to who it shows.  It took me to the page of an account that was just started this week, to company accounts, friend accounts, and some more prominent accounts like @msuster shown above.

My initial thought is that Twitter is showing this icon when they think you are most likely looking for new people to follow.  By looking at a page that shows who an account follows, they figure that you are in follow mode and so this new icon adds a bit of randomness or in the best case, serendipity.

This random selection of different pages reminded me of StumbleUpon.  Obviously all the pages are still on the Twitter site, but Twitter might finally be drawing from other successful social media sites for new features.

If you want to try to replicate finding this new feature, I was using Google Chrome when I noticed this change.  Here is a link that should get you started:!/llsocial/following

What do you think of this new feature? Is it really helpful? As Twitter keeps trying out new features, I would love to get your feedback.


Twitter requires an extra click to add someone to a list.

While Twitter has given more prominence to Favorite tweets, in the same week they have made it harder to add people to lists.  Previously, Twitter had a dedicated button that with one click would show you most of your lists.  Now they have eliminated that button and grouped lists under a shadow profile button that includes “mention”, “block” and “report for spam”.  Perhaps they will be adding a new feature/button or thought that the page was too busy. Either way, as a frequent list user, I am not excited about this change.


Do you ever mark a tweet as a favorite? Twitter updates could change that.

In the last day I have read a couple of tweets that express the idea that marking a tweet as a favorite is how introverts “retweeted”. The idea is that some people don’t feel like broadcasting an interesting tweet to their timeline, but by favoriting it, they are taking an action and have it saved.

I don’t find that to be the case for most people, but there is a little bit of truth to it, even for me. I have marked as favorites, tweets that contained subject matter I found interesting, but didn’t think was appropriate or of interest to the people I interact with.  I also use favorites to mark interesting stories and videos that I just don’t have time to read at the moment.  And sometimes I just favorite tweets I really like.

With recent Twitter notifications changes, you now know when someone favorites your tweets because you get an email alert.  @ reply notifications would need to be already set up on your Twitter account for this to happen, but there was no opt-in process specifically about favorite notification. And as far as I know, you can’t opt out of having tweets you favorite result in an email notice to the account who posted the tweet.




Example of Twitter’s New Favorite Notification. Blurred Twitter account info.

A person’s favorites were always available to view, but I haven’t talk to a single person who routinely looked at another person’s account to see what they had marked as favorites. There are a few apps like Boxcar that would send favorite notifications, but by and large, most Twitter applications and interfaces didn’t deal with favorites in any way.  Certainly not to the level of notification that Twitter is now doing.

So this is a massive change and at some level feels like a small invasion of privacy, especially since Twitter didn’t send out a email telling people that this change was going to happen.  I don’t know that this update will massively change how I use favorites, but I will think about the email notification every time I consider marking something as a favorite.

If you want to make any changes to your notfications, you can click here to directly access your Twitter settings.

Will how you use favorites change with this new email notification?  Did you even know about the change?  I would love your comments as this isn’t a clear issue and would love to hear feedback.


4 tips to enjoy your vacation while staying updated on Twitter.

Some might argue that it is better to take a complete break from social media while on vacation.  I am not one of them.  Social media is important enough to me to at least spend a little of my downtime keeping up on what is going on.  I don’t user Twitter the same on vacation as I do on a regular day, so I found a couple services that were helpful on my recent trip to New Orleans.


Summify’s name is very accurate.  They provide a summary of the most important stories that are shared by those you follow on Twitter.  They have an online interface, but I largely just read the daily email they send. On vacation it is great way to see what stories resonated when you only have a little bit of time.  Summify does a remarkably good job pointing out the four or five articles or tweets that most reflect my interests.  I rarely find something included in this summary that isn’t interesting or meaningful. Continue reading