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The Twitter Index


Tracking the soaring stocks and junk bonds of social media, helping you to invest carefully and speculate wisely. (By Rhodri Marsden)

August 29th

Rising: Hating the blue line

The internet is a progressive medium, one that's constantly in flux. So it's surprising that we have a complete inability to cope when any aspect of it changes. Look at Facebook, if you can bring yourself to. The slightest tweak they make to the layout leads to the instant formation of hundreds of groups called things like "Put It Back The Way It Was" or "Why Mess WIth It If It Works Already". Petitions are drawn up, people threaten pickets, or suicide – they take this stuff very seriously and very personally. They spend hours online, staring at an interface that becomes as familiar to them as the contours of their own chin, and then some bastard changes it. It's like going to the shops, coming back and discovering that all your furniture has been rearranged.


If you use Twitter on the web or the official Twitter app, you might have noticed some blue lines in your timeline. It's designed to help you follow the thread of conversations between people you follow, although for the last 12 hours or so those conversations have mainly been about how much people hate the blue line that's helping people follow the thread of that particular conversation.

There are some good points to be made, of course, such as the way it draws pointless yammering to your attention, although it has to be said that you are actually looking at Twitter, the web's premier source of pointless yammering:

And the fact that the blue line upends the order of tweets in a way that COMPROMISES THE INTEGRITY OF THE DESIGN.

And, of course, the obligatory joke repeated ad nauseum:

But mostly it's unfocused rage of the "Mummy it's horrible I don't like it take it away" variety.

I dunno. It's the same every time any website implements any change. You get untrammelled fury, for approximately 24 hours, at which point everyone gets used to it, realises what the point of it is, gets over the hideous shock and stops reacting as if they've just found a deathwatch beetle in their salad. It's fine. Calm down. Let it go. Remember, you've got a blue line ABSOLUTELY FREE. Gratis. It's a bargain.


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