The Twitter newsfeed has always had something of a geeky feel to it, loaded with conventions, abbreviations and hashtags in a tight 140 characters. This week Twitter attempted to become a bit more natural by announcing easier to follow conversations. Mashable explained the new functionality, which, not surprisingly, encountered a bit of resistance from users who are seeing Tweets listed in chronological order for the first time. Twitter has always displayed the newest Tweets first; the new conversations start with the oldest Tweet.
Two major blogs seemed to agree that the new conversations represent a major strategic objective for Twitter. TechCrunch pointed to earlier statements from Twitter CEO Dick Costolo about a communications gap that frustrated new users struggling to get comfortable with Twitter. Gigaom placed the same concept in a real world business context, writing that the confusing nature of Twitter was creating excess user churn, threatening the numbers needed for a successful IPO. The end game that they pointed to is a fairly standardized social media newsfeed, allowing users to jump from Facebook to LinkedIn to Twitter without missing a single word.