June 21, 2017Published by: Johannes Haider

Tweet & Replies – Twitter has tidied up!

Under pressure from the new developments being pushed out across Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, it seems that Twitter is being forced to evolve or die, announcing a roster of new changes to the platform.

As you might have read in one of our latest blog posts Twitter has redesigned its profile images, but that’s not all! Twitter has now also introduced a “Tweets & Replies” filter to its mobile version. With big implications for customer service teams, we think now is the perfect time to step back and review.

We’ve all been there: the tube’s delayed, your cab driver never arrived, the dinner you had delivered is less delicious than expected - modern life provides us with an endless number of opportunities to take out our phones and let off some steam in the form of a good old-fashioned Twitter rant.

After an initial burst of upset, we often end up in friendly, positive conversations with customer service teams, whose job it is to dissolve any rage and restore the brand love. While Twitter is a vital tool for brands wanting to respond to issues, these customer responses have generated an annoying byproduct: brand feeds cluttered with replies.

This has been a particular problem for brands and companies using Twitter to provide service updates.TfL is a great example of one of these organisations, providing early warnings about tube delays. Published as and when issues arise, these timely updates keep customers informed and help minimise complaints.

Alongside TfL’s updates, its customer care team also use the same Twitter feed to reply to users’ questions. Previously, this had meant that the feed was full of different conversation threads, making it hard for customers to get to the information they wanted and diminishing the value of the channel.

Twitter has found an answer to this problem by introducing the Tweets & Replies function. The feature, previously available on the browser version of Twitter, has now been rolled out on the Twitter App as well.

The new addition has helped Twitter tidy up feeds, reducing seemingly endless reply chains and making it easier for followers to access just the updates that they want. . Now, with tweets separated from replies, brands such as TFL can focus on their CRM Twitter activity, whilst simultaneously keeping a clean feed and ensuring important updates reach commuters.

But while the tidy-up is useful for tracking your journey to work, the “Tweets & Replies” filter system also has its downsides.

The new Twitter algorithm for sorting your tweets seem pretty straight-forward: one for your personal tweets, another for just your pictures, GIFs and videos, and the last one for replies… But wait, where did the tweet you just sent to your friend disappear to?

Twitter’s new algorithm banishes all tweets starting with an ‘@’ and automatically filters them into the ‘Tweets and Replies’ feed.

While this helps to keep Twitter feeds of brands and businesses tidy, it also means that you’ll have to do more digging to find a specific tweet from Twitter chats on your personal feed.

It’s clear Twitter’s filter system needs a little more refinement. While it certainly creates a better, tidier way to maximise brand engagement, it also reduces visibility of positive brand sentiment and provides some challenges for regular Twitter users.. As Twitter is constantly improving and adding new features, such as tools to filter or block hate speech and combat cyber bullying, we’ll keep an eye on these changes and where our tweets will disappear to next.

About Battenhall

We look after brand profiles on social media, and we're proudly the world's #1 at what we do. Named The Drum's social media agency of the year for the last three years running. Get in touch! hello@battenhall.com

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