My biggest constraint when using Twitter is the experience hopping from one device to another, such as from the iPhone to the iPad to the Web browser on my Mac laptop or PC desktop. There just isn’t a good way to keep my place each time I read my Twitter feed.
This isn’t a problem if I stick to a single device (I use Twitterriffic), since it keeps the screen on the last tweets I’ve read whenever I load the program. I find myself avoiding looking at Twitter on anything other than my iPhone, because then I have to figure out what the last thing I read was, or scan through a bunch of posts I’ve already read when jumping between devices.
With a “last read” or “bookmark” feature implemented into their API, software developers such as Twitterrific, TweetDeck, etc., could use this to sync the last message read, and thus only display the messages one hasn’t read yet (or mark that point with some visual indicator). Twitter could implement the same feature on their site by visually displaying this mark at the appropriate place and jumping to that point on the screen.
(As a side note, it would be nice to read tweets from oldest to newest on the site as well. I tend to read from the bottom to the top, and that’s a little clunky.)
How would this work? Every time a user downloaded a batch of tweets successfully, Twitter would update the “last read” indicator for that user, so the next time a request for tweets is received (even if from a different device), this information would be passed along to the application and dealt with properly.
This would save everyone valuable time when consuming their tweets across multiple devices.
If Twitter doesn’t implement this in their API, I would switch to any software that did internally. There are versions of Twitterrific and Tweetdeck for iPhone and iPad, so if I had to stay in one ecosystem to achieve this, I would.