What can Facebook & Twitter learn from Google Reader to improve timeline readability experience

As far as I can remember that the most website I liked and I was attached too is Google Reader (Yes Google, still not appreciated shutting it down!).

For many people out there and me, RSS/Google Reader was the most comfortable websites/blogs/news following way, You can say that RSS ‘almost’ still alive, And there are alternatives to Google Reader everywhere, But let’s face it! Social Media websites are winning huge numbers of web visitors every day and becoming like the only web reading standard in web visitors mindset.

Although, All off this huge success for social media, It is still not a comfortable way to following people/websites updates. So while it does not make sense to go way back to using only RSS feeds, I was thinking about small changes Facebook and Twitter can learn from Google Reader to make their timeline more readable and even better for their business is more ‘followable’!

Google reader UI ‘image from wikipedia’

Now, What we can see here in which was Google Reader UI are:

It’s simple!

I can only see post name with small description and in addition can be an image.. That’s all! But in Facebook for example I’m forced to see a big destructive timeline with comments for every update which try to steal your attention here and there without a real focus on update content itself!

What do I mean with ‘followable’?

That ‘if you want’ to keep following all updates for all your subscriptions, you cannot say like.. OK! I do not have much time now, And I will just read 50 updates then I will back later to continue reading! Because simply you do not have an efficient way to count unread updates like you can see in every RSS feed in Google Reader. Although you can enable notification on Facebook to read every single update from a user or a page, but it makes things noisier and harder to keep following over time.

Show only unread

I really can’t see why Facebook and Twitter do not have a way to hide already seen updates, From user experience wise I do not need to see the same update while scrolling throw timeline over and over again! Only one time is enough, And if I need to see it again, I can check it as unread.

There can be multiple ways to see timeline

If for business concerns social media website wants to keep current timelines, at least users should have the ability to switch between reading ways, without forcing 1 timeline way, Which I see it is not comfortable and may let people think about better alternatives.

Now, if you have more ideas to improve social media experience share it with me! Alternatively, even better, With Facebook and Twitter decision makers!

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