What Twitter can learn from Pinterest

I am not one of those people who is always calling for the addition of new features to Twitter. I like how it is now. I like that you only get 140 characters. I like the follow/unfollow model. That said, the more I use Pinterest, the more I think about how Twitter could make small changes to improve the experience without ruining the wonder of short updates.

The life of tweets could be extended by allowing for classification and collecting.  Yes, we have hashtags, but I personally don’t find them that elegent. And if I tweet using a hashtag regularly, I still don’t have an easy way to find all the tweets I made using those hashtags.  If I am not going to find my own group of hashtagged tweets, no one else is going to bother to try to find all the tweets I made on one topic.  Twylah has attempted to do this to some degree, but they are using strictly automation. Twitter could avoid buying Twylah (I will miss you Summify), and actually make a better product in the process.

My suggestion to Twitter is give people the option to put Tweets into user created categories (like Pinterest boards).  You could even bury the option so as not to confuse new users, but at least make it an option. Bookmarking sites have shown the popularity of services like this, and with just one selection from a drop down menu, it would create a lot of value for Twitter and users by allowing Twitter to be a destination to find curated “boards” that revolve around specific subject areas.

I mentioned how I like the strict follow/unfollow system Twitter uses, but over time, a small move like this, would position them to better be able to adapt and compete with the Google Plus model of circles. Letting the users decide what to follow on Twitter, makes more sense then having the creator, create circles to share with from existing followers.  Twitter has set itself up as a fairly open networks, and Pinterest’s model of following specific interests would be a nice addition without changing the core Twitter experience.