If you spend any amount of time on Twitter, you might have come across the #dickbar hashtag this weekend. And you might have asked yourself is this some sort of lewd innuendo I’m not hip to? Nope, it’s much worse than that.
Over the weekend, Twitter began rolling out its instream advertising system much to the chagrin and dismay of many, many users. The problem is, of course, that if you’re a company that peddles in social communication tools, you should probably be prepared for the inevitable backlash for changes to a beloved product.
And that’s what happened, when the advertising bar was re-branded “the dickbar” by Daring Fireball’s John Gruber. It’s the kind of east coast neologism that is both witty and crude and succinctly apropos.
How? Well, Gruber is “referring to the first rumblings of the promised business model from Chicagoan Dick Costolo, the (relatively) new CEO of Twitter. He, I conclude is 1/2 of the “dick” in dickbar.” The other half is how much of a let down the obtrusive advertising system is for Twitter users.
It is, in a sense, a dick move by the company, especially because both Google and Facebook have figured out how to create an advertising system that makes them money, but doesn’t hinder the user-experience of their product.
Right now, this has only been rolled out for the Twitter iPhone app (version 3.3), but it’ll be interesting to see if the company pulls this back to retool or if they continue to push ahead for the other Twitter apps.
And, if you really hate the Dickbar, you can always rollback the app on your iPhone. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do but it is possible. According to Twitter user, @dwineman, to uninstall Twitter 3.3 you need to still have the Twitter 3.2.2 ipa file on your computer. “Drag Twitter 3.2.2. ipa file from the trash onto iTunes icon. Click Replace. Re-check in Apps tab. Sync. You’re welcome.” Which is geek speak for make sure you have your computer techie friend do this for you if the dickbar is too unbearable and you’re cursing the Twitter gods.
Photo courtesy of Dave Winer.