Social networking giant Twitter was started back in 2006 as a means to post short updates about your life’s routine and experiences. However, over the years, it has evolved into a platform where influential personalities from across the world conduct discourses that unfortunately also can invite hate from a large population on Twitter. In an attempt to enhance the image of the platform, Twitter is now testing multiple new features that will make conversations more friendly and personal. It is also bringing back features that are true to Twitter’s essence.
Some of the new features that Twitter is currently testing have been shown to The Verge in the form of prototypes. Twitter is testing a new view for conversations, which will show different colour tags for replies from the original poster and the replying users. Additionally, the report notes that a separate colour tag might also be assigned to people you follow, as noted in a tweet by Sara Haider, Director Product Management, Twitter. This feature is an aim to make Twitter a friendly place, one that is natural for personal conversations and not just societal discourse.
Next, Twitter is testing the addition of a reply field to every single tweet on your timeline. Currently, Twitter believes the ability to reply to a tweet just by tapping the Mentions bubble below it, is just too vague. An explicitly designed bar with the phrase “Reply to @handle” might just be a better call-to-action prompt for increasing light conversations on Twitter.
Twitter might also be considering the addition of a presence indicator, similar to what is seen on popular messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Essentially what a presence indicator does is (voluntarily) publicise your online status prompting other online users to initiate a conversation with you.
Then, Twitter is also looking to bring in a new feature called “ice breaker” which is an extension to the current pinned tweet. Design Director, Mike Kruzeniski, told The Verge that this would allow Twitter users to “channel their followers’ enthusiasm into discussions they wanted to have – whether it be about a new project, a current event, or some other item of interest.”
Lastly, another feature that Twitter revealed was of a placeholder status that you can choose to automatically apply to every tweet of yours. For instance, this is helpful when you are at a popular event or location. You can choose to set a status that lets your followers know about the context of your tweets around the event. Users might be able to mute a status and avoid any tweets around an event in an improved manner.
These features are currently at the internal testing stage, and are not yet ready for regular Twitter users. However, the company says that it wants to solicit feedback from its vocal user base and make the design decisions after taking it into consideration.