TAOI: Twitter Threads

The architecture of information:

I have a love-hate relationship with Twitter. On the one hand, it’s served me as a virtual water cooler, allowing me to stay in touch with friends and colleagues. (Especially important when I lived in a part of the world that lacked an active design community.) But Twitter has also become a source of anxiety, frustration, and abuse. This is partly due to the place having grown despite being devoid of a vision of what it ought to be.

One of the signs of this lack of vision is how many of Twitter’s key features have been adoptions of user hacks. Addressing people by their @-name, hashtags, and retweets were all user inventions. Tweet threads is the latest such innovation adopted by Twitter.

Threads first emerged as a way to overcome the platform’s 140-character post limit. Users would reply to their own tweets, often numbering them to create a sequence. While threads are useful (in that they allow for longer ideas), they’re are also difficult to write and read. This new feature should fix that.

I’m glad Twitter has added a way to make threads easier to create, but I don’t understand why we need this at all. We already have an effective medium for long-form writing. It’s called a blog, a format that has many advantages over Twitter threads. Given that you’re reading this on one, you know where I stand on this.