Where Twibes Went Wrong

twibesTwibes is a new twitter app that allows users to choose their top 10 favorite twitters. The users’ picks are then included in a running tally and a list of the twitterers that were chosen the most is provided.  I think this is actually a pretty cool concept that could work well if done right.

It’s like an ongoing record of recommendations, something that could be good for things like #followfriday.  I would find it valuable to see how many times each twitterer was recommended every friday.  I’d be more likely to follow someone that recieved a great number of recommendations than someone who recieved one…right?  Maybe, but making that assumption is where Twibes went wrong.

Twibes ignored a very vital characteristic of the twitterverse, it’s focus on personal interaction. #followfriday works so well because it allows users to share with their followers the people that they enjoy following most.  It is a personal recommendation, and it is not based on popularity.  I’ve seen recommendations to follow people that have 25 followers, and followed them!  On twitter, a personal recommendation goes a long way.

Twibes takes away the value of a personal recommendation, and makes it a popularity contest.  To make things worst, in order to view the list of recommended users, you HAVE to recommend TEN people, no more no less.  That means that even if you only really have 5 favorite twitterers, you have to choose 5 more that you may not even want to recommend.

Then, to pour salt on that wound, you HAVE to either send out DMs to every person you recommended, or post a tweet listing them which completely disregards the personal interaction aspect of twitter (yep, that means you have to put your password in too).  Only then can you view the list of recommended users, which I’m sure you can guess, it is pretty much a list of the most followed users.

Twibes needs to rethink how recommendations and people work on twitter, and stop sending me automated DMs.