How Twitter Killed My Twitter Engagement by Killing Email Notifications

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I don’t currently use Twitter all that much — it’s become loaded down with too much timeline content in which I’m utterly disinterested, and I’m far happier with ad-free Google+ (https://google.com/+laurenweinstein). But I do post on Twitter those items that I hope are interesting, nearly every day, via https://twitter.com/laurenweinstein.

I’m also more than happy to stay engaged with my Twitter followers. Lately though, a number of them have been emailing me and contacting me through other means, asking why I’ve been ignoring their replies and other routine Twitter-based interactions.

The reason is simple — Twitter doesn’t tell me about you any more. At least, not in a way that’s useful to me.

Until early this month, Twitter would send me a short, individual notification email message for mentions, replies, new follows, retweets, and likes. These were easy for me to scan using my available tools as part of my normal email workflow.

But now, Twitter no longer sends these individual notifications. Instead, once a day I receive an utterly useless “digest” from them, only providing me with the counts in each of those categories. No clue as to the contents. For example, the one I received today looks like this:

– 6 new followers – See them
> https://twitter.com/i/notifications
– 32 likes – See them
> https://twitter.com/i/notifications
– 3 replies – See them
> https://twitter.com/i/notifications
– 29 Retweets – See them
> https://twitter.com/i/notifications
– 5 mentions – See them
> https://twitter.com/i/notifications

A Twitter help page claims that this is to reduce my “email clutter.” It wasn’t clutter to me, it was how I stayed on top of my Twitter activities. 

Pretty clearly, this change was made to reduce Twitter’s email load, and to try drive users more frequently back to their site.

Frankly, I don’t have the time to keep running back to that one ridiculously long page on their site to plow through all of those notifications, which are stuffed in there like a Thanksgiving turkey. I presume this isn’t a big problem for folks who live on Twitter all day long, but it’s a total no-op for me.

So unless somebody knows of a way to get those individual email notifications back again (screen scraping apps, perhaps?) you can safely assume that your Twitter interactions with me will almost certainly be going into a black hole for now.

And that’s really a shame. Or to put it another way — shame on you, Twitter.

–Lauren–

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4 thoughts on “How Twitter Killed My Twitter Engagement by Killing Email Notifications”

    1. A great firm I know contacted me last night and I’m testing their third-party solution to the problems, and so far it appears to be very promising. Of course, going this route wouldn’t be necessary if Twitter hadn’t pulled the rug out. I’ll report back later.

      1. I look forward to reading it, but I would still encourage you and others to complain via the official feedback form. I think people who complain about email sometimes get a lot of attention, while perhaps a core minority of users who actually appreciate email are sometimes the “silent majority” and should make sure their voices are heard. It’s fine if they want to have the digest as a default, but they should let users opt in to more notifications if they wish.

        1. I agree. If Twitter wanted to default to digest mode, with the option to have individual email notifications as before, that would be fine. But don’t treat us as fools with that “we just want to reduce your email clutter” nonsense explanation!

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