Thu Mar, 2011 by Derek Mehraban
Twitter released a new version of its iPhone app last week. The new app placed a quick bar at the top of the feed and inside that quick bar users could see trending topics as well as other breaking news.
Many iPhone users revolted. The quick bar competed with the news feed for real estate and this intrusion made many users angry. Instead of waiting for them to jump to a different app for the Twitter feeds, Twitter updated the app. Now users have a choice to allow or disallow the quick bar at all. Users, however, are not given a choice of having the bar in a different location.
The concern for this move is when Twitter wishes to place advertisements inside that quick bar. Users now have a way and an expectation of opting out of that real estate. Will they stand for advertisements in that space? Will they opt out? Can advertisers expect users to remain with the app?
Before making the change Twitter did ask about removing the quick bar. Twitter did not ask, however, about methods of removal. The initial move could have benefited from crowd-sourcing. The fix could have also benefited from some crowd-sourcing. What is important is not the asking questions of the crowd, but instead asking the right questions.