What with all the super-injunctions that have been flying around of late, and all the idle speculation about which celebrities have been doing what to whom – allegedly, Twitter’s announcement on Monday this week that it was to introduce email notifications for users on its platform, slipped by with little fanfare.
The social media network has been slow off the mark on this one, and has lagged behind the likes of Facebook and LinkedIn who’ve provided this function for some time. Anyway, it’s here now, and will be gradually rolled out to every user over the course of the next few months. The question is, has it been worth the wait, and more importantly, is it really necessary?
Twitter’s email notification will arrive in your inbox and let you know when a user you follow re-tweets or ‘favourites’ one of your tweets. Unfortunately not everyone will be able to take advantage of this new service as it will take some time to cover the whole network. When it eventually does become active, users will be able to turn the notifications on and off by accessing the Twitter settings page. Unfortunately, though unsurprisingly, the default setting is set to on, so, if you’d rather not be bothered by a barrage of more unwanted email in your already-crammed-to-bursting inbox, you’ll have to go to the trouble of accessing your settings page and turn it off.
Twitter has also added a new function to its platform.
Users will now be sent a tweet and an email notification when they’re sent a reply or mentioned in a tweet. Previously users had only been to receive notifications when someone followed them and when the other user sent them a direct message. These changes may be subtle and not exactly what you might term revolutionary, but Twitter believes they will add value to the platform and prove useful to those users who like to receive email notifications, as the new functions make it easier for users to keep a log on all things that surround them as a user.
So, are these subtle changes worthwhile?
Are they about to make your online life any easier? That depends on who you ask: some users think the changes will definitely help them keep tabs on all that goes on when they’re out and about and not able to access the web. That’s particularly true for Blackberry users who don’t currently have a ‘your tweet re-tweeted’ option. There are plenty of others, however, who are far more critical, if not scathing, about the changes to the platform. Many see it as yet more spam: inboxes are already besieged with more than enough of this, and they see it as yet another added burden of the daily grind. What’s more, if they want to stop it, the onus is on them to take action, rather than allow users to opt in to the notifications instead. Some would rather Twitter had introduced a option that would send notifications when a user stop following you, as it can prove quite a chore to figure out who’s jumped ship, when you’ve got a long list of followers. Now, that could be useful: I wonder if we’ll see that function in the not-too-distant future?