11 Things I Hate About Twitter

1. People sending direct message (DM) after I follow them
After I follow someone, I immediately get this direct message thanking me for following him or her. I don’t think it’s necessary but anyway you’re welcome. But hey, there’s more. They could also say “Join my network at Facebook, YouTube or BlogCatalog”. Just because I followed you in Twitter means I am interested in reading your Facebook feeds. I don’t need to be your friend and follow your updates. I think everyone knows how to request to be your contact in Facebook if I want to and when I want to.

2. New set of jargons
The word Twitter spawned terms that either got many others confused or formally made us geeks even if we didn’t want to. Tweet (a single Twitter update), tweeps (people who use Twitter), twooz (a full 140 character tweet), dweet (updates done while drunk), mistweet (a message that will soon be a cause of regret), Twitterati (A-list and VIP who are also making their Twitter updates) a. In the world of web 2.0, it’s as if RSS, chicklets, feeds, wiki, mashup, vlogging and widget were not enough.

3. People who play with numbers
Just like any other social media application, it’s inevitable to equate Twitter statistics with someone’s ego. People follow and autofollow for the sake of boosting numbers instead of the quality of information shared and received. Some people have high ambitions in life. But some make false impressions. They are desperately ask for followers instead of delivering the real essence of Twitter (sharing information). These are the “Please get me 5,000 followers before end of the year”, “wow, I got 3,313 followers in just 2 days” or “What did I do wrong, I lost 450 followers overnight” type of people.

Fail whale
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tveskov

4. People overly obsessed with Twitter
Twitter being available in mobile devices provides quick and convenient way of sending messages across. So it’s not surprising to see some people’s updates run every minute or even more frequent. No problem at all for people who make sensible (read: useful) updates like Guy Kawasaki. But others are nowhere close. “In a cab”, “just woke up”, “looking at the menu”, “staring at the window” and other mundane updates that have almost nothing to do with others. While such updates may be uncovered during high profile incidents, they can also be used to masquerade whatever a culprit is really doing. I can kill a cat and pretend to mention “I love cats a lot”.

5. People who welcome new followers
Friday has been always associated with the Follow Friday movement where a Twitter user is going to nominate a few people to follow, but I see this as just an extension of a week-long parade of tweets related to particular days: #musicmonday #followfriday #sportsaturday and more. Others also have this habit of welcoming new followers. What is this really for: to sincerely thank folks who are interested to read your updates or simply an act to encourage more followers by simply mentioning their names? Personally, I don’t see such act as flattering to the follower.

6. Now on Twitter, but gone for .. ever
You’ll be happy to see a friend trying to get to know how Twitter works. “My first tweet”, “hello world”, “still trying to figure this one out”, “can someone follow me?” and then pffft, gone with the wind. Maybe patience has run out and this friend just gave up on this often-confusing world of Twitter and begins to question you, “why do you tweet, what do you get from it”?

7. Post an update just to make an update
One of the most popular type of trending topics in Twitter is when there is a breaking news. Another is the emergence of terms highlighted by hash tags. #IfIWereYou #11thCommandment #GeekPickupLines, and more. People make crazy updates just to get noticed (and hopefully win a few followers). In fairness, some of these tags produce extremely funny tweets. Somehow one has to be careful, otherwise his update can get him in trouble.

8. People following thousands, got zero tweets
As with any social media application, Twitter is a platform to learn and share. It’s not wrong to follow thousands of interesting people in Twitter, yet you’re unable to make a single update. But for heaven’s sake, make Twitter more useful for everyone and share anything you learn and you think will be helpful to others.

9. Robots taking over people
I am saying this because there are instances when it’s no longer humans handling these accounts. There are devices, scripts and robots who make Twitter update more convenient. Yet on many occasions they become more obtrusive as they “update” their Twitter feeds with a series of updates that they occupy a whole screen of updates. “I rated this YouTube video by [name] with [1-5] stars”, “I am at [location]”, “Listening to [Song] by [Singer]”. This is often observed for news sites, job portals, press release firms and those that make frequent changes. They’re not really spam, but they can be really irritating.

10. Use of URL shortening service to deceive people
With exception of Tweetdeck and other programs that allow URL preview of shortening services like Bit.Ly or TinyURL, users have no clue a link posted is expected, safe or leads to an infected websites and stolen identities. Others blame the 140 character limit Twitter allows on the proliferation of sneaky URLs but the credibility (or lack of it) is really pinned to those who share these URLs.

11. People asking “please RT”
There is no need to ask people to do so. If what you’re posting is interesting and people think it applies to their followers, they’ll retweet your post without the need to be told.