In this brave new world of instant gratification, it is understandable that some want to take advantage of immediate updates. In an instant message/chat situation where it is just you and a few other people, instant is great. When there is a larger number of people involved it just turns into scrolling colors after a while.
Don’t get me wrong, I personally love a good river of information. But more often than not that same river freaks out the average Joe. The most current example of this was the recent Friendfeed redesign. While the new look is only on the beta site, I showed a few friends of mine the look and they all but ran away screaming.
One of the reasons many people have cited for not joining FF in the first place has been the flood of information. Unfortunately for the regular guy, the new interface helps the flood rise. Now while the obvious solution to most current users is just to pause the feed, quite a few folks who already use the service still have a problem with the initial tsunami of information.
Sure average person off the street will not immediately be following hundreds or thousands of people, but it is doubtful that they would jump on a service that they have to immediately turn down to use. Most users want the interface to be easy and something they can grasp quickly, hence the popularity of Twitter.
While I can completely understand the reasons why certain changes have been implemented, expanding the user base might become a bit more tricky with the new model.
But it is a beta so who knows?