Less than a month after Twitter launched the latest major version of its iPhone app, the company has issued a new version that removes one of the most publicly detested features from the previous update: the QuickBar, or, as it was lovingly nicknamed by iPhone tweeters, the #DickBar.
Days after the initial rollout, Twitter quickly updated the app to address user concerns, but apparently it wasn't enough to stem the flow of complaints.
Though Twitter still believes there’s value in a feature that can promote trending topics and other things happening on the site outside of the user’s personalized stream, the company wants to start building that feature from scratch:
“Rather than continue to make changes to the QuickBar as it exists, we removed the bar from the update appearing in the App Store today,” writes Doug Bowman, Creative Director at Twitter. “We believe there are still significant benefits to increasing awareness of what’s happening outside the home timeline. Evidence of the incredibly high usage metrics for the QuickBar support this. For now, we’re going back to the drawing board to explore the best possible experience for in-app notification and discovery.”
User complaints about the QuickBar were all across the board but, in general, the thing irritated people because it took space and attention away from the timeline for irrelevant and uninteresting trends. On top of that, the bar naturally incorporated Twitter’s Promoted Trends, which turned people off who thought that maybe the company had sacrificed product quality for the sake of advertising space.
A quick look at Bowman’s own Twitter account (@stop) reveals a couple more details as to what exactly didn’t work about the QuickBar and what it’s future looks like.
The most obvious, of course, is the lack of an option to simply disable the bar, which Bowman says “would have been ideal.”
When asked how hard it would be to make the bar personally relevant by showing trends based on people followed, interests and shared links, Bowman admits that it’s harder than it sounds: “More difficult than you think, especially at scale. Believe me, we're trying.” At least we know they’re working on it.
In the end, the positive side of this story is that Twitter is no Facebook. One would imagine that if Facebook had released a feature like this that sparked user outcry, nothing would have really changed. Facebook has a habit (good or bad, it’s debatable) of sticking to its guns, no matter what. Twitter seems a little more open to user reception.