Twitter is one of the Internet’s biggest social media sites that gives even Facebook a run for its money. Home to celebrities, innovators, and people looking for their real-time news fix, the site is for anyone and everyone. However, major issue that people face is the perception of rampant toxicity on Twitter. The app is closer in similarity to Instagram as anyone can follow and talk to you unless you manually restrict your profile.
Twitter has gotten a lot of flak in recent times for being unfriendly to users. The most recent example of this is failing to see a tweet clearly threatening a person when the moderation team saw no harm in the content despite it being obvious.
Hey @Twitter remember when I reported the guy who was making threats towards me after my appearance on @FoxNews and you guys sent back a bs response about how you didn’t find it that serious. Well guess what it’s the guy who has been sending #bombs to high profile politicians!!!! pic.twitter.com/xBY8FMbqnq
— R O C H E L L E (@RochelleRitchie) October 26, 2018
Twitter saw no harm in the content of the apprehended Cesar Sayoc, a man charged with sending bombs to politicians and celebrities. Before this, the site was also one of the last places where famed conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was still spreading his messages while Apple and Facebook had removed his content on grounds of hate speech.
All these recent events have not painted the innocent blue bird in a good light, but Twitter wants to change that perception.
Upcoming Twitter features
Sara Haider, a Product Manager at Twitter invited members of the press to get a look at how the platform is looking to rise like a phoenix and create a more welcoming environment. She gave the press a first look at new features that the company is working on:
- Color-coded replies to Tweet.
- Adding a status to your account (Similar to WhatsApp Status)
- Respond in-line to a tweet if you feel it requires better context.
- Ice breaker questions to engage followers or audiences who visit your account
Twitter is experimenting internally with some features to make conversations more approachable, including color-coding (you’re blue, people you follow are green) and indented threads. #FCFestival pic.twitter.com/KpqaFMD4K9
— Harry McCracken (@harrymccracken) October 22, 2018
So @pandemona and @mkruz showed me some of the new features Twitter is building for the profile and conversations. This status indicator is my favorite https://t.co/JdJtLXHqbE pic.twitter.com/v6caC0UJVk
— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) October 24, 2018
Here are some details on each of these new features:
Color-coded replies to tweets
With this change, a user’s tweets would be blue, while replies from people who follow the user would be in yellow. This will help keep track of replies in a Tweet thread.
Adding a status to your account & Presence Indicator
Users would be able to set a status to reflect what they’re doing or how they’re feeling. e.g. “Binge watching the new season of Haunting of Hill House on Netflix!”. Users can also set their visibility from to Online, Invisible, or other options. Presence indicator is similar to Facebook messenger and shows if a user is online on the app. It works as a simple toggle.
Respond in-line to a tweet
A field which says ‘reply’ is intended to encourage Twitter users to start more conversations with other users. Considering the high amount of engagement, including hate speech, on Twitter, not sure if this is a good idea to allow users to reply quickly to everything.
Ice breaker questions
Similar to Facebook, users would be able to post questions for followers or visitors to answer. A good way for people to engage or begin conversations.
All these features are currently in internal testing. Twitter did not mention a release window for these features or if public users would be part of the testing program.