Yesterday I tweeted that “Twitter needs an address book. Finding users is harder than it should be.” It was a sort of a throwaway tweet, one that I didn’t expect to think about a second time after it was out there, but I was surprised to find that it was re-tweeted at least a few dozen times throughout the day.
We could actually all spend an afternoon making a list of the many things that Twitter needs, but if the service added every single one of them, the end result would be its ruination, I’m sure. Still it really does feel to me that a more robust address book is a serious omission, and now I realize I’m not alone in thinking that. People really want some kind of address book on Twitter.
Some people took my tweet to mean that I wanted some central way of browsing for people that I don’t already follow, but in actuality what I mean is that I want to be able to sort through my current contacts with greater flexibility than is currently possible. Twitter’s current method sorts people I follow in reverse chronological order based on the date that I started following them. That’s moderately useful, but it would be even more useful to me if I could sort that list alphabetically. Or, even better, if this hypothetical address book could translate Twitter handles into real names too, which I’m often (though not always) more apt to remember than the obscure monikers that people often have to adopt when they join the service. I’d also like to see only the people I’ve corresponded with — via both mentions and direct messages — and sort those names by frequency and recency of correspondence, as well as alphabetically. And if these same added capabilities could be applied to the list of people who follow me, as well, that would be great.
That᾿s all I want, really. Otherwise Twitter is just perfect.