Great idea, took long enough. Twitter actually talked about killing DMs for a while, but now that it got some revenue-generating stuff out the door, it’s revisiting the topic and noticed that private messaging has exploded worldwide. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it try some ways to monetize DMs, though. Like most other services, things like paid sticker packs and maybe photo filters are solid options.
iMessage is complicated and has had a bad lock-in problem for two years, while Google Hangouts has plenty of its own problems. I know I’m a dissenter among most of the tech folks you know, but confusion and frustration with iMessage and Hangouts are why my messaging preferences these days are now, in order:
They work. They keep messages in order. They push notify. I don’t need to know one email address for this device or a different account for this other purpose or whoops that’s not your mobile number it’s Google Voice so that message just went nowhere. All I need to know is your name, you know, like in the real world.
The post-PC world is great. The post-SMS world—a work in progress, to be fair—is an utter mess.
The truth is, this should be our responsibility. Sure, we can pare down who we follow, but doesn’t that defeat the point of being in the great global conversation? Twitter genuinely needs better technology tools to help us keep up. It needs a better way to help us get in and out again and on with our day, without feeling like we’ve missed anything important. Its core strength is the realtime flow of information. But that can also be its greatest flaw.
Great piece by Mat Honan, with a proper and positive shout-out to Facebook’s filtering system. Many of us are drowning in “new stuff,” and most solutions—either walk away or follow less stuff—are way too binary. Part of the reason I like Facebook so much is that it does an increasingly good job of surfacing just the stuff you care about, and leaving the rest just a couple taps or clicks away if you actually do want to see it.
You also have tools to help teach Facebook and customize who and what you see. Are you really interested in most things a friend does, but the only photos they ever post are stupid Instagrams of their lunch? Ok, you don’t have to unfriend, just tell Facebook you don’t want to see their photos in News Feed (in fact, I think you can block their Instagram shots, specifically, but it’s been a while since I’ve had to do this). You can dial up and down the number of posts you see from each individual, from “only important,” to “most,” to “all.” That’s awesome.
This algorithmic filtering is a tool that more social networks, news outlets, and general services need. We’re all drowning in data, but shutting off each individual spigot is a far too heavy handed solution. We don’t need to cut those relationships, followers, and followees, we just need to temper them, like most things in life.
As you may have read, there’s been a recent uptick in large-scale security attacks aimed at U.S. technology and media companies. Within the last two weeks, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have chronicled breaches of their systems, and Apple and Mozilla have turned off Java by default in their browsers. This week, we detected unusual access patterns that led to us identifying unauthorized access attempts to Twitter user data. We discovered one live attack and were able to shut it down in process moments later. However, our investigation has thus far indicated that the attackers may have had access to limited user information – usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted/salted versions of passwords – for approximately 250,000 users.
I got a Twitter password reset email, and a whole bunch of people replied the same. Twitter says the attack was quite sophisticated and believes that more companies beyond the New York Times and Wall Street Journal were hit. This is getting even bigger.