Twitter today launched an update to its iOS apps that brings lots of welcome new features (automatic shortening of links, autocomplete for usernames and easier photo uploads) but also puts far too much emphasis on trending topics in the iPhone app. Every time you scroll to the top of your stream on the iPhone, Twitter will now show you a trending topic at the top.
For Twitter, of course, this makes sense. After all, it sells promoted trends for good money (Google Hotpot bought a spot today, for example). For the most part, trending topics on Twitter tend to be dominated by celebrity gossip and Justin Bieber. It’s hard to see how this makes the app better, unless you really care about Charlie Sheen (trend: #tigerblood – no idea why…), the fact that it’s #Friday and that people care about #BYU, #iTunes and #Facebook.
Doing a search for “quick bar” on Twitter, it’s clear that most users feel this way. Sadly, Twitter doesn’t give users the ability to turn this “feature” off. In its own announcement, Twitter called the “quick bar” a “very cool update.” I beg to differ and hope that Twitter will either allow people to turn this off for free or sell an ad-free version soon.