- 13 May 09, 12:39 GMT
Is your Twitter feed looking a little quieter than usual? Mine is.
If so, that might be because of a change to the service rolled out last night that is causing palpitations among users.
It used to be the case that you could control the types of @replies you saw in your feed. The old guard of Twitter, like me, not only saw replies to their updates from other users, including those they don't follow, but also the replies of their followers to people they don't follow.
More recently, it was changed so that the default setting for new users was that the only replies you saw were from the people you follow to you, or to you and another person you also follow, and not those replies from your followers to people you don't follow yourself.
But you could change this to see all replies, and adopt the system above.
Are you following me?
So what do the changes mean?
However, Twitter have now changed the settings so you can no longer see the replies of people you follow to people you don't. According to Twitter:
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.
But it seems many users' don't find this underdesirable or confusing. In fact, it is the method many people employ to discover new people to follow themselves.
And the worse part is, Twitter has taken away any control from the user to change these settings.
It would seem that it has done this to streamline the replies feed in order to become less intimidating to new users, who are suddenly overwhelmed by replies that are mere fragments of conversations they are not party to.
What Twitter has not realised is that it is this very aspect of "overhearing" a conversation between people, some of whom you know and some you don't, that makes the service so appealing.
It is what leads you into new conversations, debates and to meet people you otherwise would not have stumbled upon.
Given the noise on Twitter about this change, I wouldn't be surprised to see Twitter follow the lead of Facebook who have made U-turns on feature changes into an art form.
Are you still following me?
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