This is quite a long shot – and I’m not sure this is the best place for this, but I would like to suggest a minor update to the Twitter API.
It would be a great deal of help if developers were able to suppress @mention notifications when posting a tweet.
Here’s a use case. Some time ago I created a bot that crawls a website (belong.io) that collects interesting tweets and then retweets them. The project is open-sourced at https://github.com/fourtonfish/belongbot4000.
Originally, the Twitter bot would just retweet the tweets it would find, which is obviously not an appropriate behavior. I tried to come up with alternatives, but they are all very limiting. For example, the current version of the bot collects all tweets posted in the past hour and posts them as a collection – but those are only limited to 100, so I have to delete the old ones.
Honestly, the rule of not retweeting random people is arbitrary, because to resolve it, I’d just need a way to suppress @ mention notifications (sending
disable_notifications: true?) to people who don’t follow my bot. Or maybe bots shouldn’t even be able to send notifications to people who don’t follow them, by default.
And just to quickly address potential alternative solutions: simply tweeting out the content of those tweets feels like stealing, tweeting just the URL the person posted makes the account look a bit spammy, and including the person’s username without an
@ creates a sub-par experience for those who’d like to either respond or see more tweets from the same person.