Twitter Groups, But Not Really

I got excited when the wife mentioned she saw a reference to Twitter groups in her tweet stream. We have both tried Plurk and she shares my opinion that despite the potential of cliques, the UI is just absolutely horrible. We both perked at the mention of a possible ability to send messages to groups of followers, rather than everyone, a la Plurk’s cliques and LJ’s filters.

She sent me the link which ultimately sources this InfoWeek interview with Jack Dorsey. Sadly, I think the throw away reference to groups just means the ability to put followers into groups, like managing contacts in your address book. There is no mention of sending targeted messages to groups or, better yet, being able to selectively filter tweets based on a group.

I’ve said it before, as much as I enjoy Twitter I get very tired of the lack of structure beyond the first baby steps with so-called “at” messaging (using the @ symbol to direct a tweet to a specific user but still have it appear publicly). Many people use Twitter at cross purposes and lacking any way to discriminate between bulk messages versus personal messages makes the act of following such people often frustrating.

If they could express their intent by publishing to a specific group, especially one you could opt-in or out of, that would go a long way towards resolving that tension. Plurk’s one good feature may yet pressure Twitter into adopting some simple fixture to accomplish this, but it is not apparently what Dorsey meant, alas.

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