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Twitter Threading- What & How

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The Twitter Timeline

When using Twitter, what you see is the public timeline which is arranged according to time, not according to relevance meaning person A says something and person B responds 12 minutes later, but there is no visual association between the two because the arrangement is by timestamp. This can make it difficult to visualize conversations and for people interacting with hundreds of others simultaneously can cause extreme attention deficit. There are multiple ways to visualize threading and you may be surprised at which one I think is best.

Quotably

Quotably.com is a service that proclaims to “bring order to Twitter” but I’ve held of for DAYS in publishing this article in hopes that it wouldn’t look like this:



Before all the geeks riot and say “you’re an idiot!” just relax- I’m now well aware that Quotably has been replaced by Summize. “Lani, you’re still an idiot!” the geeks say- again, relax… I’m also aware that Summize has been replaced by Twitter search which is built into Twitter, I’m getting there. So Quotably is no longer around, but according to several sources (who recommended I check it out despite it’s non-existence, thanks guys) it was among the most slick threading options around.

Tweet Scan

TweetScan is awesome for searching for terms that have been used in the public timeline but despite what some people think, it’s not a threading tool, it’s just a search tool (but is awesome because you can set up alerts for when someone mentions you).



Tweader

Tweader is the newest toy on the market and shows tweets in the public timeline as they relate to each other. The good is that Tweader offers options on viewing- you can see them as bubbly, plain or otherwise so visualization is customizable. The bad is that it seems quite inaccurate. I think Tweader is pretty but there is a better option. The conversation below implies that these topics pertained to each other, but there are tweets missing, out of order and down right non-topical:



The Winner Is:

I know it’s crazy to look to the original source for the best options, but Twitter has built in threading now in their search (formerly Summize.com) that seem to be the most accurate (although not 100%, it’s not psychic) and easy to read, just compare the image below with the image above and you’ll see how the conversation REALLY went (Christoph got spit on by a stranger in Vegas, in case the conversation makes no sense):



The bottom line is that there are many options out there to visualize your conversations which is useful for mental organization and reputation management, but for the best option, I like the original source! This is a great way for agents AND consumers alike to learn more about a neighborhood, community event or news topic! What real estate uses do YOU see for threading?

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. The Mudflap

    September 25, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Lani,
    I was just trying to figure this out yesterday. It looks like quotably.com is DOA. I didn’t know about Twitter actually threading tweets. Thanks for the info!!!

  2. Nick Bastian

    September 25, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Serious? Chris got spit on? How the heck did I miss THAT? Guess I need to learn how to follow along more closely. Thanks for the info! 🙂

  3. Todd

    September 25, 2008 at 9:06 am

    Here’s me bring controversy to this post ( sans accusations of idiotcy leveled at anyone ):

    “Twitter is not am Instant Messaging service!”

    By publicly conducting long back-and-forth conversations using the @ reply, are we polluting the utility Twitter provides, causing our followers to page through “conversations” that should have happened in IM or via Direct Messages?

    Many think that the new “groups” feature inside the secret version of Twitter being beta tested right now will address this supposed “pollution problem”, but for the moment should we limit ourselves to just one @ reply per day? Two? Are long @ reply conversations inside Twitter really “pollution”?

  4. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    September 25, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Scott- it’s amazing how many people on Twitter suggested privately that Quotably was the best threading service. It’s been out for months (you’d think they’d have it redirected).

    Nick- It’s hard to follow along while at conferences, there’s too much!

    Todd- Don’t worry, I don’t think it’s controversial what you’ve said nor is it a new argument. There are many schools of thought regarding Twitter (none of which were discussed in the article, this was simply an article to point out tools for others) but I will address for you anyhow (keeping in mind that there is no set formula for Twitter use and the community is already existing which makes behavior change difficult):

    School of Thought #1: Twitter IS an instant messaging service. Some people don’t like it being used as such and the amazingly wonderful feature of Twitter is the “unfollow” button. Many people follow along only while they are physically at their computer dedicated to Twitter and carry on many conversations while there and cross-pollenating groups of “friends.” In this theory, users are connectors and introduce each other to their other friends and grow their networks by being a resource. Some consider that “pollution.”

    School of Thought #2: Twitter is ONLY for updating what someone is doing at that moment and should be limited to hourly updates. It is not for discussions (or “instant messaging”) rather so others can be voyeurs in one anothers’ lives. Then, if there is a connection made and person A can get person B to follow them so they can direct message, a conversation is held in private.

    I personally subscribe to the first school of thought and do a great deal of business on Twitter. I have as many direct messages as I do public updates, I handle much of what I do in private but continue to speak publicly. In private, a real estate blogger asked me the other day, “who the hell are all these random people you’re talking to, they’re not even important in real estate!” My response was “many of them are in Austin, I’m here to communicate with people in AND out of real estate, but most importantly people IN OUR MARKET.” There was no response.

    Regardless of anyone’s school of thought and the belief that a threading tool or a grouping mechanism will change others’ behaviors, it doesn’t matter- Twitter is voluntary and when someone’s too loud or they bash your candidate, there’s an awesome little “unfollow” button- don’t you wish there was one of those in real life!?!?

  5. Kim Wood

    September 25, 2008 at 9:56 am

    Thanks, Lani. I have tried many different applications, but didn’t even hear of Quotably or Tweader! The hardest part is when you are trying to pick up in the middle or when you had to leave and return – *if* you follow too many people.

    Todd…. do people really just want to know what you are doing? Engaging others in conversation…. If everyone always just spouted off what they were doing it would be all talking at once. Now, if your key to your comment is “long back and forth conversations” one on one, ok – take it to SKYPE, DM or somewhere else. However, many times it is a group of people @engaging in conversation together. (you knew someone had to go here, lol 🙂

  6. Renae Bolton

    September 25, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Lani, does this thread feature only work if you’re using the search capability in Twitter?

    Todd – I’m new to Twitter (as in 1 week ago yesterday I opened my account) so maybe I’m misguided in my views. The Twitter users seem to have picked up on the potential and changed Twitter from the “what are you doing right now” application that it started out as into more of a “what can I do to connect you to someone” application. The only way that can happen is through genuine conversation. We talked about engagement vs. visibility yesterday and I met some people that I probably otherwise would not have met, had it not been for that conversation.

    Conversation is what connects people – not one or two daily updates. Daily updates don’t intrigue me. The fact that a grown man likes Cap’n Crunch Boo Berries does.

    ~Renae

  7. Paula Henry

    September 25, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Lani – I guess I just don’t get the whole Twitter thing. I do like the idea Benn had about using it to for neighborhoods, but haven’t quite figured it out. I’ll go check in again and see if I can make more sense of the conversations now that they are threaded.

    It’s great knowing I can come here and you, the Twitter Queen, will update me on everything new 🙂

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Social Media

*New* TikTok Insights launch: Content creators finally get audience analytics

(SOCIAL MEDIA) The popular short-form app, TikTok, finally launches the anticipated Insights feature, where content creators can view target audience data.

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Two girls filming on TikTok.

Marketers searching for the zeitgeist which means TikTok scrollers pause to watch their content and then click through to buy a product have a new tool to help make that happen.

  • TikTok Insights offers marketers bite-size bits of user demographic information that will help build content that leads to sales.
  • With TikTok Insights you can learn more about your audience’s behavior, their interests, and their general sentiment toward brands.
  • TikTok Insights is free to use. Marketers can find TikTok user demographics by using filters to determine what they’re looking for.

The demographic info can be age-focused, focused on specific types of marketing, or even as specific as holiday or event marketing.

This is a step in the direction marketers have been asking for as they create content for the TikTok platform; however, creators looking for detailed analytics like they get from meta need to wait. Insights doesn’t offer that for now.

Like TikTok says in its own analytic information,

“While analytics are helpful in understanding the performance of your videos, you don’t need to create future videos based primarily around them. It’s best to consider the bigger picture, lean lightly on analytics, and use them as a source for insight rather than strategy.”

Marketers trying to key into reaching TikTok’s billion users worldwide are left, right now, searching for the magic that leads to consumers making the jump from the platform to using their purchasing power.

For marketers that means keeping things creative and collaborative, two key factors in TikTok’s success. And that success is huge. Users spend an average of 52 minutes on the platform when they log in and a staggering 90% of users say they log on every day.

TikTok Insights will help marketers find ways to connect, but the content TikTok is looking for is authentic.

And while entrepreneurs can bid for advertising like other social media platforms, they need to remember when planning that spend, that most TikTok marketing success stories are more accidental than planned. Have fun with that knowledge. Instead of pressure to create the perfect plan, TikTok Insights allows marketers to keep it creative and to find a way to tie it into what they enjoy about the platform.

Like all other social media marketing, focus on creating content that stops the consumer from their continual scroll. Make it a challenge and keep it real.

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Social Media

Grindr got busted for selling users’ data locations to advertisers

(SOCIAL MEDIA) User data has been a hot topic in the tech world. It’s often shared haphazardly or not protected, and the app Grindr, follows suit.

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Grindr on phone in man's hands

If you’re like me, you probably get spam calls a lot. Information is no longer private in this day and age; companies will buy and sell whatever information they can get their hands on for a quick buck. Which is annoying, but not necessarily outright dangerous, right?

Wrong.

Grindr has admitted to selling their user’s data, however, they are specifically selling the location of their users without regard for liability concerns. Grindr, a gay hook-up app, is an app where a marginalized community is revealing their location to find a person to connect to. Sure, Grindr claims they have been doing this less and less since 2020, but the issue still remains: they have been selling the location of people who are in a marginalized community – a community that has faced a huge amount of oppression in the past and is still facing it to this day.

Who in their right mind thought this was okay? Grindr initially did so to create “real-time ad exchanges” for their users, to find places super close to their location. Which makes sense, sort of. The root of the issue is that the LGBTQAI+ community is a community at risk. How does Grindr know if all of their users are out? Do they know exactly who they’re selling this information to? How do they know that those who bought the information are going to use it properly?

They don’t have any way of knowing this and they put all of their users at risk by selling their location data. And the data is still commercially available! Historical data could still be obtained and the information was able to be purchased in 2017. Even if somebody stopped using Grindr in, say, 2019, the fact they used Grindr is still out there. And yeah, the data that’s been released has anonymized, Grindr claims, but it’s really easy to reverse that and pin a specific person to a specific location and time.

This is such a huge violation of privacy and it puts people in real, actual danger. It would be so easy for bigots to get that information and use it for something other than ads. It would be so easy for people to out others who aren’t ready to come out. It’s ridiculous and, yeah, Grindr claims they’re doing it less, but the knowledge of what they have done is still out there. There’s still that question of “what if they do it again” and, with how the world is right now, it’s really messed up and problematic.

If somebody is attacked because of the data that Grindr sold, is Grindr complicit in that hate crime, legally or otherwise?

So, moral of the story?

Yeah, selling data can get you a quick buck, but don’t do it.

You have no idea who you’re putting at risk by selling that data and, if people find out you’ve done it, chances are your customers (and employees) will lose trust in you and could potentially leave you to find something else. Don’t risk it!

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Social Media

BeReal: Youngsters are flocking in droves to this Instagram competitor app

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As Instagram loses steam due to its standards of “perfection posting,” users are drawn to a similar app with a different approach, BeReal.

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social media - bereal app

BeReal is one of several “Real” apps exploding in growth with young users who crave real connections with people they know in real life.

According to data.ai, BeReal ranks 4th by downloads in the US, the UK, and France for Q1 2022 to date, behind only Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

BeReal flies in the face of what social media has become. Instead of curated looks that focus on the beautiful parts of life, BeReal users showcase what they’re doing at the moment and share those real photos with their friends. Their real friends.

It’s real. And real is different for a generation of social media users who have been raised on influencers and filters.

As the app says when you go to its page:

Be Real.

Your Friends

for Real.

Every day at a different time, BeReal users are notified simultaneously to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes.

A new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.

BeReal app

The app has seen monthly users increase by more than 315% according to Apptopia, which tracks and analyzes app performance.

“Push notifications are sent around the world simultaneously at different times each day,” the company said in a statement. “It’s a secret on how the time is chosen every day, it’s not random.”

The app allows no edits and no filters. They want users to show a “slice of their lives.”

Today’s social media users have seen their lives online inundated with ultra-curated social media. The pandemic led to more time spent online than ever. Social media became a way to escape. Reality was ugly. Social media was funny, pretty, and exciting.

And fake.

Enter BeReal where users are asked to share two moments of real life on a surprise schedule. New apps are fun often because they’re new. However, the huge growth in the use of BeReal by college-aged users points to something more than the new factor.

For the past several years, experts have warned that social media was dangerous to our mental health. The dopamine hits of likes and shares are based on photos and videos filled with second and third takes, lens changes, lighting improvements, and filters. Constant comparisons are the norm. And even though we know the world we present on our social pages isn’t exactly an honest portrayal of life, we can’t help but experience FOMO when we see our friends and followers and those we follow having the times of their lives, buying their new it thing, trying the new perfect product, playing in their Pinterest-worthy decorated spaces we wish we could have.

None of what we see is actually real on our apps. We delete our media that isn’t what we want to portray and try again from a different angle and shoot second and third and forth takes that make us look just a little better.

We spend hours flipping through videos on our For You walls and Instagram stories picked by algorithms that know us better than we know ourselves.

BeReal is the opposite of that. It’s simple, fast, and real. It’s community and fun, but it’s a moment instead of turning into the time-sink of our usual social media that, while fun, is also meant to ultimately sell stuff, including all our data.

It will be interesting to watch BeReal and see if it continues down its promised path and whether the growth continues. People are looking for something. Maybe reality is that answer.

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