Since I have started using twitter, (ScottBlogs on Twitter) I have seen a number of new people follow me, and I in return have followed a number of people. As this is the first time I have really taken Twitter seriously it got me thinking about their whole system, and as a result I have a few ideas for ways to improve Twitter.

Follow Categories
Why not have the ability to view only subsets of your followers by grouping them the same way you might your instant messaging contacts, or even email inbox. If I could group those that I am following into categories such as “family”, “friends”, “co-workers”, “news”, “humor”, etc, it would make it much easier to bounce around and read the updates from the specific users I want to see at that given moment.

Currently there is the “everyone” tab which is basically an exact copy of the “home” tab, so I am not entirely sure why it is even there, but a dropdown subset under “everyone” listing all of your custom categories would really make sense.

Statistics
Twitter, why don’t you give us users some stats. Currently all we can see is how many people are being followed, how many we are following, and how many updates we have made. I want to know more. Here are some examples:

  • How many people view my profile page? (daily/weekly/monthly etc) Of these, how many are my followers, or people I am following? How many times has each of these users checked me out?
  • Rank the users that @reply and DM (Direct Message) me based on how many messages they have sent me.
  • Rank the users that I @reply and DM based on my communication with them
  • Stats on how I post to twitter: How many of my messages were from “web” or “twitme” or “SMS” or Other.
  • Follow rates: How many people followed me on a per day basis? How many people have I followed?

Include these stats and make the pretty with charts and graphs, and make it all customizable. Also give the option to have this data public or private, or allow us to show only the data we want displayed on our side bar (similar to a WordPress widget).

This data would be really cool to have, and I am sure many many users will find it of value.

Security
Users post links like crazy, and for the most part they are all safe links – I can assume this simply because someone with several hundred followers is not likely to post a link to a virus or something as there are then numerous people who likely know who the person is. That said, when you click a link through “tiny URL” or one of the other URL shrinkers, there is really no way to know where you are going to end up unti you get there. Twitter, why not add a feature that when the link is moused-over the actual URL appears, so that we can more carefully choose which links to click!

Well, that’s it for my suggestions today, Thanks Twitter – I hope you listen to some of this and care enough to upgrade.

(If you are a twitter user, please leave me your comments on these ideas, and post your own suggestions – also feel free to tweet this URL for others. Lets try and improve twitter a little bit!)