Twitter’s quietly adapting and improving services almost as fast as people are finding new ways to use its social media powers. Today it added hovercard data previews to its Web site…just as Sun’s CEO resigned with a Tweet.
The hovercard idea is a relatively minor tweak to the UI presented to users on visiting Twitter.com, but it nevertheless will speed up and improve the way users interact with the system. Essentially, when you’re viewing a timeline of Tweets from anywhere–from a particular user, or within a list or wherever–if you leave your mouse pointer hovering over the avatar or username for a particular Tweet, a little pop-over box will appear: The hovercard.
This give you extra information on the person behind the Tweet, which will be useful if you’re curious to know more about the person who’s just @messaged you or popped up in a re-Tweet, for example. But the cards also let you expand them, so that you’ll be able to actually interact with other Tweeps through them, by direct message perhaps, without losing your position on your Tweet feed.
So it’s subtle, but a powerful tweak.
Meanwhile, here’s another amazingly subtle and powerful use of Twitter: Sun’s CEO Jonathan Schwartz has become “the first Fortune 200 boss to Tweet his resignation” according to The New York Times. Resigning is hard enough to do in the first place, but within Twitter’s 140 character limit it must be tricky (assuming you’re going for a more emotional angle than the traditional “i quit.” But Schwartz found a fabulous, creative way to use a creative system–he Tweeted a haiku.
Financial crisis/Stalled too many customers/CEO no more
That’s the verse. Of course the news itself will have tremendous repercussions within Sun and Oracle of course, but we have to take our hats off to Jonathan for taking the bow in style. So much so that we’ve had a little go at a Twitter haiku ourselves. What do you think?