You’ve seen everywhere : social media makes us live in an echo chamber where the ideas we embrace are shown to us in our feeds, confirming our own biases.
Today I’m doing the work of Jack Dorsey’s product team by releasing an idea of mine in order to limit that impact or at least give the people the ability to limit that impact. This is my TIP (Twitter Improvement Proposal), as inspired by BIPs in the bitcoin community. This is Timeline Sharing. Or “See Twitter as”.
The basic idea is pretty straight forward : we all have different feeds depending on who we follow and the posts we interact (or don’t interact) with. This gives the algorithm the possibility to display content we’re likely to enjoy, therefore making us stay on the platform and generating revenue for Jack Dorsey and his team.
But Twitter faces two problems, the first one being that as the users live inside this confirmation / echo chamber bias, they sometime feel disconnected with the rest of human beings they encounter in their everyday lives who do not share the same codes, cultures and memes. It isolates people in digital worlds.
This is true for every community, with the example of what we call the “normies” in the bitcoin community, but you could extend that to the “non-woke” for the political and social activists, and so on.
This leads to people wanting to undergo “digital detox” to reconnect with the “real world” that they encounter everyday. Which leads to fewer ads impressions for Jack, and is not good for his business. And if he has some moral sense, maybe he just doesn’t like how sick it can make people feel when they receive constant information that triggers them or hurts their feelings (because those posts receive a lot of engagement).
The other problem that Twitter has is its steep learning curve : when you sign up for the first time and follow nobody, the only thing the algorithm can do is give you broad recommendations of popular celebrity or media accounts. Those usually lack the spice that makes Twitter loved by its users.
This situation probably explains why a lot of people just don’t get its purpose or the value it can create for them. They sign up, follow those recommended accounts, come back a few times, and just don’t come back after. This is because this feeling comes from having a well built list of accounts you follow. And this also drives down the revenues for Jack.
My Twitter Improvement Proposal aims to fix that. The idea is that Twitter could create a feature that allows users to get access to a button that says “Browse Twitter as”. Clicking this button would then load the feed of a given account and display it to you.
By doing so, existing users could see try to see the world through someone else’s eyes, therefore widening the scope of their opinions, giving them the ability to see what builds their convictions and so on.
And it could also be fun. It would be like taking a sneak peak at someone’s feed, without breaching any privacy in the sense that the list of all the people you follow is already public, it’s just that the feature I’m describing hasn’t been built yet.
One could easily go into a list of following, click on follow on all them and get approximately the same feed. But that process would be tedious, and would have to be undone at some point etc, whereas a simple button on someone’s profile could provide that feature in a click, and could be dismissed as easily.
I believe it would also drive adoption for Twitter in the sense that it would give new users (who often join Twitter by the recommendation of a friend) could easily get a glimpse of where the fun is at for them friends (and if they signed up because of them, it’s likely they’ll like too).
If a feature like “Add to my own following list” was built along the “See Twitter as xxx”, new users could keep what they like, and dismiss what they don’t. This would drastically improve the new user’s retention by giving them a kick-start onboarding onto Twitter’s main feature : a curated feed of things aligned with your interests.
Soooo, what do you think ? That would be cool right ? If you drop by here Jack and decide it could be cool to implement that, you can send a few sats to say thank you !
Even if this improves new users retention by like 1–2% (I think it can do way more), this simple medium post will generate millions in additional revenue for you. Share some love at : bc1qqahp44asd6nw530u05gj8rs350yx54wlksh844