Forget blurred lines, we hate these blue lines on Twitter

Okay, it's no secret the public has heard perhaps a bit too much of Robin Thicke lately. It's been clear for the past few months now how much he really dislikes blurred lines. While Thicke desperately searches for a better pair of glasses, there's some new lines that people are getting fed up with. Twitter's introduction of blue conversation lines has caused quite the stir.

Here's how they work. Since the launch of the new feature, any time someone on your Twitter timeline replies to another tweet, the two are linked by a blue line connecting the profile pictures to the left of each tweet. The blue line extends the longer a conversation is and then condenses if it gets a bit too long, but you can always click to expand the full conversation yourself. Perhaps what's most annoying is that each time someone replies in a conversation, the entire conversation is brought to the top of the timeline. 

Since its very birth, tweets have always displayed in reverse chronological order. It was simple and easy to understand. Right before the blue lines feature debuted, one could click any tweet with a reply in it to expand more of the conversation. Now, it's almost as if all conversations are expanded by default. The blue lines are somewhat distracting and seeing unwanted conversations is annoying. Simply put, the people are not happy. A quick search of "blue lines" on Twitter will prove it.

Hopefully, Twitter will hear the voices of its users and reverse the blue lines or at least provide an alternative. It wouldn't be the first time the microblogging service launched a new feature with heavy criticism, only to kill it shortly after. Remember the #Dickbar?

Source: CNET | Image via Twitter

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43 Comments

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I don't even consider Twitter as a social network anymore. Its become a place for promotion and advertising. I actually think those blue lines are useful as it helps me keep track of who I've tweeted to etc.

Dunno why folk complain for the sake of complaining, I like the lines personally, it's a handy GUI change

Doesn't make sense. The people didn't complain about the lines in the replies on their outlook email client. Now they complain about the lines in Twitter. If you do not like it, then get an alternative Twitter client such as MetroTwit, whatever is available.. so you wouldn't worry about those lines that you complain about. Check the settings and see if you are able to turn it off. Same to the outlook which you can change to your liking.

pack34 said,
Why do "tech people" complain so much?

No idea, especially when they just say things that don't make any sense:
Now, it's almost as if all conversations are expanded by default.

OK. Maybe you think it looks like that. But Twitter just grouped together what you would otherwise have seen, also without expanding anything.

If the tweets looks like they're a conversation, well good news for Twitter's design team, because that's what they are. It's the conversation that you see without expanding anything because you follow the people involved in the conversation.

I like the conversation views on the web where real estate isn't an issue. On Mobile I can see how it might annoy though

waded said,
(And meanwhile the Windows Phone people hub still doesn't show Twitter conversations completely.)

How do you mean? Seems to show them fairly well here.

waded said,
(And meanwhile the Windows Phone people hub still doesn't show Twitter conversations completely.)

Yeah, after 8.0 came out and Microsoft did absolutely nothing to even try to bring the social networking features of the phone up to date, I pretty much gave up hope that they ever would. 2 years later and we still can't favorite tweets, like Facebook comments on posts, "post on Wall" should be updated to "post on Timeline," and you still can't tag people or places in a Facebook post from the Me tile.

waded said,
(And meanwhile the Windows Phone people hub still doesn't show Twitter conversations completely.)

It is not possible to show conversation views correctly using twitter api. They have no method and rate limits do not allow multiple calls to piece it together. If you want full conversation views you must use Twitter or Tweetdeck "owned by twitter".

I love the blue lines feature. It makes it much easier to quickly scan through the feed without being confused by single tweets of conversations, tracking those down, and losing your place. "Seeing unwanted conversations?" Then why are you following the people have the conversation? That is the reason you're seeing unwanted conversations, not this feature...

I don't necessarily have to be interested in every single thing an account tweets. Especially if the tweets are to/from another person and not involving me at all.

George Tinari said,
I don't necessarily have to be interested in every single thing an account tweets. Especially if the tweets are to/from another person and not involving me at all.

I haven't used this feature yet, but doesn't it make it easer to skip past stuff too?

Edited by FiB3R, Sep 2 2013, 5:25am :

Exactly! This is very nice new feature, hope the "I want the Start button back" and "I love Windows XP" people won't ruin this fun too.

Here's a crazy idea, but... why not actually make this an... OPTIONAL feature that can be changed in the settings? Crazy I know!

x-byte said,
Another useful feature to be removed by "I don't like change" users.

Yep. Can't stand the song, but on Twitter the lines are very helpful. These complainers better not ruin this like they ruined the Xbox One.

xpxp2002 said,

Yep. Can't stand the song, but on Twitter the lines are very helpful. These complainers better not ruin this like they ruined the Xbox One.

I like the lines too, but the Xbox One has not been ruined, it is now a better prospect than ever before, so much so, that I pre-ordered one yesterday.

THERE'S A LINE PEOPLE, AND TWITTER NOT ONLY CROSSED IT, BUT THEY DREW IT IN BLUE!!

Yeah, people freak out over stuff. The funny part is the 7 page essays that derive from such a small change, ranting on about how it is intrusive to the aesthetics or something silly to that extent; you know, journalism buzz words and lingo thrown around to cause a stir over nothing.

i really dont understand the point of twitter. I get Facebook/Google+, Pinterest, Linkedin. But what the heck is twitter useful for?

Imagine taking a dozens of RSS feeds from companies, organisations and individuals and lining them all up alongside each other. Now, merge them all together into one list and sort them chronologically.

That is Twitter.

CJ33 said,
i really dont understand the point of twitter. I get Facebook/Google+, Pinterest, Linkedin. But what the heck is twitter useful for?

Twitter is useful for whatever YOU want it to be useful for, and thats the beauty of it.

I have my entire 'internet life' in one place, generated business, got better support from companies, met some great people and made acquaintance with people with similar interests.

In my opinion it's the best social networking service available to us.

jren207 said,
Bite-sized updates from people, businesses, the media, and more!

Add instant info which makes it more useful.

It started off as a utility for celebrities only. It's basically to tell complete strangers what you're doing each part of the day. Ex:

Eating breakfast at starbucks, nice day..

Shopping for mangoes, love smoothies
(gives little details and insights about the person's life) True story.

Anyway one day I think it got hacked, and eventually it just became a public tool. Celebrities have their own private version of twitter closed off from the public. They still have regular twitter accounts too.

Uplift said,
Twitter is useful for whatever YOU want it to be useful for, and thats the beauty of it.

I use it with several private accounts as a free "notification center" of sorts, when certain events happen on some of my servers I not only get push notifications on my phone/tablets (via Pushover or Pushalot) but it also fires off tweets to their appropriate account which I can access from anywhere and can use as a running archive if needed. Actually pretty handy and doesn't cost a dime, can log in from anywhere and see what's what without installing a thing. It has uses beyond being notified when a celeb you're following goes to the bathroom, some people need to think outside the box a bit.

Izlude said,
It started off as a utility for celebrities only. It's basically to tell complete strangers what you're doing each part of the day. Ex:

Eating breakfast at starbucks, nice day..

Shopping for mangoes, love smoothies
(gives little details and insights about the person's life) True story.

Anyway one day I think it got hacked, and eventually it just became a public tool. Celebrities have their own private version of twitter closed off from the public. They still have regular twitter accounts too.

Are you high?

Izlude said,
It started off as a utility for celebrities only. It's basically to tell complete strangers what you're doing each part of the day. Ex:

Eating breakfast at starbucks, nice day..

Shopping for mangoes, love smoothies
(gives little details and insights about the person's life) True story.

Anyway one day I think it got hacked, and eventually it just became a public tool. Celebrities have their own private version of twitter closed off from the public. They still have regular twitter accounts too.

I shall award you 3 internets. Not a bad bit of trolling.