Twitter: Pet Peeves

Twitter is my favourite social media platform. I appreciate how it brings new people into my life, enables me to keep learning and keep up to date with breaking news.

But like anywhere you spend a lot of time, there are some things that are annoying about Twitter. I recently asked online friends what vexed them about the Twitterverse, and it turns out we share a lot of the same dislikes including:

  • Twitter spam
  • FFs that are a riot of names – and retweeted FFs
  • Auto DMs
  • Conversations that aren’t connected (ie not using Reply properly)
  • Tweets that make you visit Facebook
  • Tweets appearing in LinkedIn

I think many of these fall under the same umbrella – they deliver a bad Twitter reading experience. For example, a long list of FF names is hard to read. It’s plain ugly.

Twitter pet peeves: crowded FFs
Twitter pet peeves: crowded FFs

Twitter conversations that aren’t linked are frustrating because you can’t read back and discover the context.

Tweets that take you to Facebook may be all right occasionally, but in the main, why do it? People are in Twitter to read tweets, or head to web articles that don’t require a login. Many Twitter users don’t even like Facebook. And when you’re using it to prop up your Facebook strategy and drive people to your business page, it feels like cheating. It’s a similar case in LinkedIn. If you really care about your LinkedIn audience, you can post occasionally. Why run all your tweets through there? Tweets usually don’t make sense in the LinkedIn environment.

[An update on this: LinkedIn is removing the Tweets Application on 31 January. The option to use #in to display tweets in your profile will remain, so surely this will make LinkedIn users more discerning with their tweet-sharing).

Auto DMs are a bad strategy. Occasionally there’s a creative, funny Auto DM that might make you smile or click a link to learn more. However Auto DMs are usually trite thank yous or pleas for you to connect with the tweeter further. If you have already followed them, it’s unnecessary but also intrusive and overbearing.

Of course, spam was also cited as a major pet peeve. Spambina can be funny sometimes, but we’d rather see a genuine connection than spam that’s wasting our time or keeping us spooked about the words we use in case of another spam attack. “Block and Report” becomes  tiresome housekeeping.

Twitter pet peeves: spam
Twitter pet peeves: spam

Thanks to everyone who contributed their peeves. I think we need a blog about ‘Things I love about Twitter’ now?

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Ash Simmonds says:

    Splintered replies are my peeve – I only really use Twitter for getting on-board with social activities nowadays, and when I’m @mentioned by someone going “RT @someone @someoneelse @AshSimmonds – Yeah let’s do it!” I kinda have no idea what the conversation is about.

    Oh well, doesn’t matter; got drunk.

    1. Prakky says:

      Sometimes I wonder .. how many splintered replies are done purposely? We’re being kept out of convos occasionally, perhaps with good reason? But then, why converse on Twitter?

  2. Jerome says:

    As always, very helpful and informative. Whenever I have a social networking quandary guess where I go first for help.

    1. Prakky says:

      Thanks Jerome, very kind.

  3. I don’t really have a “pet” peeve. All of the things you list annoy me equally.

    Username-filled #ff’s would have to be up there, though.

  4. Ash Simmonds says:

    On another note on peeves, the thing about pets is if you don’t feed them, they die.

  5. Jen says:

    Mine no 1 is links that go to Facebook. Just link to your website people! Oh, that’s right the website’s crap because not enough resources went into updating it (another pet peeve).

  6. yani says:

    The worst example of the Facebook link occurred recently where an organisation linked to something on someone else’s FB account (on Twitter) and then later in the day posted a message along the lines of “for those of you who don’t want to click on a link” and there was a link to THEIR FB account.

    They’d just streamed their FB updates straight to Twitter and didn’t care enough about Twitter to change the context.

    1. jwhite200 says:

      I agree with all this, people should be trying to drive traffic back to websites, not other social media platforms for the most part I think.

  7. This is a whole can of worms. I go on and off Twitter (right now I’m off) and the reason why is that it represents a serious time vortex when, like many of us, I have so little. The number of posts, and keeping track of them, can be overwhelming to say the least – but I’m sure this is in the way I use it – seriously need to better use lists to filter the general chit chat from the useful information. Tips and hints welcome!

    I also don’t know why they can’t somehow incorporate the Hootsuite functionality into the Twitter site – ie RT formats that enable you to comment, the ability to program responses, etc.

    Lastly I find #ffs to be naff and I’m not a fan of convos about people’s ‘nothing’ stuff, ie a comment about “I just stubbed my toe” is then followed by a flood of well wishing replies, where as more substantial topics may go unnoticed. Or maybe this is me being a ranty pants.

    What I like about it is the “connectivity” and ability to broadcast far and wide, as well as the Gold! it contains re subject matter I am interested in.

    1. Prakky says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Megan. I am frustrated by the Twitter site too – especially the RT format. As for tips and hints – if you do want to incorporate Twitter in your life, without the ‘junk’ then I do find Lists vital. I have a List for Friends, for Clients, for Media and Social Media and so on. They’re great when you want to ‘cut to the chase’. And of course I check into the #socadl and #adelaide tags regularly.

  8. Mary Carpenter says:

    As a newby I’m pretty easy going and accommodating of most things except spammers and hackers, so annoying! Just making my way through and learning as I go, what it acceptable, but being that it is SM I expect and accept that it isn’t supposed to be to be perfect or too contrived or then it just becomes advertising doesn’t it ??

    1. Prakky says:

      Hi Mary, I’m so glad you wrote that comment about not being ‘too contrived’. You’re right. In social media, rules are made to be broken. Sometimes an #FF is fantastic, sometimes automatic DMs can work and so on. What is annoying in one person’s feed can be interesting from another’s. It’s important we feel relaxed enough to use socmedia as we like it. At the same time, listening to what our network likes means we can tailor what we do, if we are so inclined.

  9. My pet peeve is using hashtags that aren’t relevant or totally out of context. Most of us are guilty of it at one time or another, but it’s the repetitive ones that annoy me the most. Especially when it comes to the #Adelaide tag, If you are tweeting about Port Pirie or Millicent then hashtag those, and if you want a wider audience try #SATravel or #SouthAustralia. When I click on #Adelaide I want to see tweets relevant to my city, not people just hoping for an RT from Adelaide Tweet and the likes.

    A good things about twitter post would be great! I’m feeling a bit ranty pants now.

    1. Prakky says:

      Such a great point, Kathy. I’m often disappointed by the irrelevant use of the #Adelaide hashtag but perhaps have been guilty of it myself in the past! I think a lot of #Adelaide comments are becoming pleas for wider attention! We need to keep our popular hashtags ‘clean’ so that they remain useful.

  10. I always do #FFs as a hat tip to friends, and put three tweets out earlier on a friday evening, and maybe two more for around midnight (most aussie tweeters are asleep then, well maybe not, but the twitter stream does slow about then).

    But there are a circle of friends who immediately RT their #FFs FFS and then it sort of goes into a weird feedback loop until the frequency sort of wilts at some stage.

    Yes, The Facebook thing, and The G+ thing… and did anyone mention Tweeting links to Crikey?

    Sounds interesting, click the link, of wait, I can’t get in because I’m not a bloody paid up subscriber. (Secretly hates Crikey, but keep it to yourselves).

    As you know I really like to try out new social networks, but I just couldn’t find any use whatsoever for Linkedin, and then I was getting spam from them, Killed my account… not interested in the slightest. I think I’d rather be forced to play Farmville than deal with Linkedin.

    Wolfie!

    1. Prakky says:

      Wolfie, that’s a great tip about putting out FFs in the wee hours. I’ve done that in the past too, so it doesn’t annoy most of my Aussie followers and yet I can still tip my hat to some great tweeps.

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