16 December 2014

Five Hundred Words: “Hacking The Tweet Stream”

More recently, there’s been a trend with a similar goal (to increase the 140-character limit), but immensely better execution and flow: appending screenshots of text to tweets.

Speaking of context, this is an extremely useful trick to share something without having to break (or re-work for 140-characters) the context of what you’re sharing. It often makes the experience of sharing something better.

M.G. Siegler

Twitter on iPhone with text screenshotI’ve seen this trend on as well and I’m very annoyed by it. It may be easier to share for those who post the screenshots, but as a follower I frequently can’t read the shared text because the image is too small on a smartphone screen or too compressed, making the letters fuzzy and pixelated. It’s like sending someone a scanned PDF file instead of a text reply by email: rude and completely wrong! Why not share that text snippet on tumblr, if Twitter is too restrictive for you? This way people actually have more context, because they can read the original article as well, instead of simply absorbing your self-centered opinion on it. I might have to start unfollowing people who make this a habit.

As for the engagement other people are seeing, of course it’s higher, people don’t have any other place to go without a link, they have to stare at that poor quality picture of text. And would you rather people engage with your blog, where you might run ads or get them to subscribe, or with a random tweet with no connection to your other work?

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