Loving and Hating Twitter’s New Quick Bar

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Judging by the number of tweets with the hashtag #dickbar, Twitter annoyed a large number of users with last week’s iPhone app update that added a non-removable Quick Bar showing trending topics to the top of the screen.

The row has rumbled on over the weekend, with Twitter CEO Dick Costolo – after whom the bar was nicknamed by pundit John Gruber – defending the bar on his stream.

Simultaneously, Twitter hurried to submit a new version of its iPhone app, which makes minor adjustments to the way the bar is displayed.

Since the update, App Store users have not been slow to add their (mostly negative) reviews. At the time of writing, 19 out of the first 20 user reviews of the official Twitter app were overwhelmingly critical, calling on Twitter to remove the bar, or provide an option for it to be hidden.

Reading Costolo’s tweets, it’s clear that the Twitter CEO doesn’t agree with many of the criticisms.

In particular, his exchanges with Philip Borenstein get more and more pointed:

“If you think Twitter users care about trends, you don’t know how people use Twitter,” accused Borenstein on Sunday.

“You couldn’t be more wrong,” shot back Costolo. His point (made to other complainants too) is that while a minority of more technically-minded users are bothered by seeing trending topics in the Quick Bar, most of Twitter’s millions of users like trends. “If users didn’t like trends, we wouldn’t have trends,” he wrote.

TechCrunch weighed in too, with a Quick Bar of its own, and a simple message: “Twitter advertising is here to stay.”

The last word in this argument is Borenstein’s:

“@dickc I realize I’m not a Twitter customer. I am your product. #dickbar makes me feel you’re selling me cheap & to the wrong people.”

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