Excuse me Twitter, can you hear us?

Twitter is getting a good ol finger wagging, browbeating, reprimand from its users. Why you ask? Well, its simple. And its kind of complex too. The short of it is that Twitter has decided to remove a feature that allows users to “Reply” to all users who are part of the conversation, whether they follow you or not.  Twitter says they implemented this change because:

“based on usage patterns and feedback, we’ve learned most people want to see when someone they follow replies to another person they follow — it’s a good way to stay in the loop. However, receiving one-sided fragments via replies sent to folks you don’t follow in your timeline is undesirable. Today’s update removes this undesirable and confusing option.”

However, many Twitterers have responded negatively to this abrupt change and through the hashtag feature, folks are voicing their displeasure in a somewhat Twitter uprising by adding #fixreplies to their Tweets. Here, you can see how it works for yourself: #fixreplies.

The underlying issue for Twitter is this. If you build a social community that becomes popular, like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and lots of others, then you (Twitter) need to keep in mind that its the community of users that have made your property so successful and will continue to make it successful. Because individuals have selected your community as a place they wish to live and visit, they expect to be included in decisions that affect their quality of life in their community. Its the age old struggle between an authoritative party who think they know best and the people who are affected. Online social communities are not exempt from this dynamic. So, Twitter, lets have a Tea Party!

Ian M. Bardorf has over 15 years of sales and marketing experience in Internet technology, with a specific focus on Internet marketing and online advertising.