Why Twitter doesn't have the timeline synchronization?

In these days I’ve changed (again) between the official Twitter app for iOS and Twitter website via Safari on Mac, and the famous Tweetbot3 on iOS and the Tweetbot Mac app.

I’ve lost the count of how many time I’ve changed from one app to the other.

Tweetbot3 Twitter

In fact, I love that the official iOS Twitter app is the first (obviously) which integrate the new Twitter features and the general UI is really clean and modern.

On the other side, Tweetbot offer some features which are really usefull for me, like the Timeline Sync.

This feature (the Timeline Sync) it’s the main reason for my switch so I ask myself why Twitter doesn’t implement this feature itself.

I think the reason is just one: user permanence on the site/service!

I mean, if you need the Timeline sync, you are one of the people that other Twitter users call “completionist”. You, probably, want to read all tweets in your timeline, so you need to not have a lot of tweets in your timeline!

The solution to this equation is simple: don’t follow too many people.

(ok, probably there are some people which can have a lot of tweets and read them all, but if you don’t spend the majority of your online time on twitter, probably you don’t land in this category).

I think, instead, Twitter wants that their users have a lot of tweets in their timeline, so they spend more time on Twitter. And it’s ok, it’s a marketing decision and, as a social network, this probably one of the first things you need to evaluate.

But, for ‘completionist’ users who want to read all tweets in their timeline, using the official Twitter app its a bit frustrating.

People like Federico Viticci (founder/editor of MacStories) seem to be completionist AND they use the offical client but, as he tell in one of his podcast, he scrolls all the timeline down until he pick up the last tweet he read, then proceeds upward.

I’ve tried this method, and for the first weeks was ok. Then:

  • sometimes I’m simple too lazy to remember and find the last tweet I’ve read, so I simply read the timeline backward, from the last tweet.

  • other days I want to be a completionist, but every time I open the Twitter app for a little break, I spending more time finding my last read than reading new things.

If Twitter don’t want to implement the timeline sync, a good solution can be also implementing some kind of URL scheme which open the timeline and scroll to a specified twitter status id.

This can be usefull, in conjuction with other iOS automation apps like Launch Center Pro or Workflow, for permit users to create some sort of timeline syncing without an official support.

Probably I’ll keep switching between those applications for a lot of time before I’ll see something in that sense, but the hope is strong!

Written on April 29, 2015 - #Twitter #iOS #Mac