If you're not especially technically savvy, Twitter can be one of the more difficult and confusing social media platforms to use. The system is rather elaborate, with each user having multiple streams making up a personal timeline as well as separate feeds for direct messages, notifications and "activity." There's also the problem of Twitter-specific lingo, sometimes confusing shorthand invented to cope with the limited character length of Twitter messages. Just this month, the company moved the space for composing tweets (the one that reads "What's happening?") to the top of users' timelines, a more natural position that's easier to locate.
Still, operating Twitter is brain surgery, so it should come as a surprise when people who work for Twitter display a lack of understanding for how to use their own product. That's exactly what happened yesterday when the company's chief financial officer, Anthony Noto, tweeted publicly what appeared to be intended for a direct message:
Noto is new to Twitter, having just joined the company in July, and he's definitely not the first person to confuse the tweet and direct message options. This mistake is basically harmless, although Business Insider notes that because Twitter is a public company, any talk of acquisitions can potentially move a company stock up or down.
What the errant tweet really provides is a laugh, as quotes taken out of context that don't make any sense are often hilarious, and a lesson in taking the time to make sure that you're using Twitter correctly.
Follow Brian Greene on Twitter: @bw_greene