I’ve been fond of using Twitter not only as a means to shout out the latest happenings in my life, and not only to converse with online friends, but also to watch for trends and information that people may be discussing. I know I still have a lot to learn in efficiently using it to mine information, with all the different tools out there. But one basic feature that I know a lot of people appreciate is being able to listen in to conversations among friends.
For instance, one friend can send a @reply to another friend, and I get it on my update. Perhaps I can reply with my own two cents, too. But Twitter has just (suddenly?) changed the system, such that you can only listen in to @replies if both sender and intended recipient are in your follow list.
We’ve updated the Notices section of Settings to better reflect how folks are using Twitter regarding replies. Based on usage patterns and feedback, we’ve learned most people want to see when someone they follow replies to another person they follow—it’s a good way to stay in the loop. However, receiving one-sided fragments via replies sent to folks you don’t follow in your timeline is undesirable. Today’s update removes this undesirable and confusing option.
I personally use a very effective filtering system to weed out messages I deem not so useful. This filtering system I use is my own brain! So I tend to agree with TechCrunch here that users should be given the choice to follow all @replies by friends, including those that are one-sided. The issue here is that Twitter has removed the option altogether, and has reverted everyone back to only being able to see @replies where both sender and intended recipient are on your followed list.
I do hope twitter does follow through on its promise to introduce “better ways to discover and follow interesting accounts as [they] release more features.”