This seems a little mean-spirited – though unintentionally, I would assume.
Today, Twitter designer Andrea Conway has shared a new mock-up of a possible functionality that would enable users to set a notification to be reminded of a specific tweet, anywhere from an hour to a year in advance.
Which could be handy, as there’s a range of instances where someone, say, tweets something about a sports team or event, and you might want to keep tabs on that for later reference.
Where it feels a little jilted is that there are already services like this on Twitter, via automated bot accounts, created by third-party developers, like ‘Remind Me of This Tweet’.
Via Remind Me of This Tweet, users can simply mention the relevant Twitter handle, along with a time frame, and the bot account will notify you of that tweet at a future point of your choosing.
Which is the exact same functionality that Twitter’s now looking to potentially make a native process - which it actually might have to, because with Twitter’s recently announced API changes, which will drastically increase the price of access, most of these types of tools are going to go extinct, because they simply can’t afford the new fees.
As such, it seems a little like rubbing salt in the wound, that as these apps are being priced out of existence, Twitter is adding them as ‘new’ functionality.
At the same time, many Twitter users would be unaware that these types of third-party tools are a thing, so making them native functions would also make them more universally accessible, likely increasing their value overall.
So it’s a little from column A and a little from column B, but it does feel a little off.
I wonder how many other third-party Twitter functions the company could make native as these tools go out of business – and I wonder, then, how that will be viewed by the dev community, which has played a big role in making Twitter as popular and widely used as it is today.
Will that have longer-term implications, or will making more of these types of functions native be of more benefit than the downside?
We’ll likely find out, with Twitter’s new API pricing set to come into effect in ‘within months’.