Twitter introduces ‘dumbed down’ version of its app for select users to trial new features

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Twitter is inviting users to apply for a new testing programme to improve user experiences on the site. The social media platform will launch a new prototype app for select users with potential new features and feedback to the firm. The new programme will include a new design for replies to tweets, such as a rounded, bubble-like look (pictured) to replies that make them appear similar to text messages on smartphones


Twitter is trialling a ‘dumbed down’ version of its app: Reply bubbles and colour coding will be introduced for select users (but will it be enough to stop the drop in monthly visitors?)

  • Twitter is inviting users to ‘apply’ to trial a beta version of the app 
  • Features include ’rounded’ speech bubble replies that text users are familiar with
  • It will also introduce ‘indentations’ in replies to make it sit better on the page
  • The programme is aiming to make the app more easy to use for newcomers 

Twitter has come up with a host of potential new features for its app and wants to know if they’re any good. 

The company is therefore asking users to ‘apply’ to a testing programme to try them out. 

The social media platform is launching a prototype app for successful applicants, who will feedback the user experience to the firm.  

It is the latest initiative in chief executive Jack Dorsey’s plan to improve public conversation on the site and make it more accessible to new users. 

Twitter is inviting users to apply for a new testing programme to improve user experiences on the site. The social media platform will launch a new prototype app for select users with potential new features and feedback to the firm. The new programme will include a new design for replies to tweets, such as a rounded, bubble-like look (pictured) to replies that make them appear similar to text messages on smartphones

Other features include a colour-coding system on replies to differentiate between responses from the user's followers and those from non followers. There will also be indentations in tweets to better organise them as they appear on the screen. Twitter has struggled to grow its user base in the same way as Facebook, with executives admitting the site can be 'too confusing' to understand when encountered by new users. The latest move is an attempt to make the app simpler for first time users and retain active users for longer than just a few days

Other features include a colour-coding system on replies to differentiate between responses from the user’s followers and those from non followers. There will also be indentations in tweets to better organise them as they appear on the screen. Twitter has struggled to grow its user base in the same way as Facebook, with executives admitting the site can be ‘too confusing’ to understand when encountered by new users. The latest move is an attempt to make the app simpler for first time users and retain active users for longer than just a few days

The new programme will include trial features such as a new design for replies to tweets, including a new rounded, bubble-like look to replies that make them appear more similar in to text messages on smartphones. 

Other features to be tested include a colour-coding system on replies to show responses from followers and those who do not follow you.

There will also be indentations in tweets to better organise them as they appear. 

Social media sites such as Twitter have come under increased scrutiny in recent years over their handling of abusive and harmful content that appears on their platforms. 

Social media sites such as Twitter have come under increased scrutiny in recent years over their handling of abusive and harmful content that appears on their platforms.

Social media sites such as Twitter have come under increased scrutiny in recent years over their handling of abusive and harmful content that appears on their platforms.

Twitter has also struggled to grow its user base in the same way as Facebook, with executives admitting the site can be ‘too confusing’ to understand when encountered by new users.

While its daily users are increasing, Twitter’s monthly users are dropping, which  means that its users are not active for long enough to count towards the monthly active user statistic (MAU). 

This could mean that users who sign up for the app do not continue to use it as well as the fact that bot and fake accounts are being spotted and removed within days rather than months.   

Invites to the new testing app will be sent out to successful applicants in the next few weeks, Twitter said. 

WHAT IS TWITTER’S POLICY ON HATE SPEECH?

Twitter says it does not tolerate behaviour that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence other social network users.

Twitter users that violate these rules could find their content deleted, or their access to the account suspended by the social network.

What does Twitter forbid?

According to the company, it will remove any tweets that do the following —

  • Threaten physical violence
  • Promote attacks on the basis of their race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease 
  • References to mass murder, violent events, or specific means of violence in which such groups are the primary targets or victims
  • Incites fear about a certain protected group
  • Repeated use of non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes
  • Content designed to degrade a specific user     

Twitter users can target individuals or specific groups in a number of manners, for example using the @ mention feature, or tagging a photo. 

How does Twitter enforce these rules?

According to the company, the first thing it does whenever an account or tweet is flagged as inappropriate is check the context.

Twitter says: ‘some Tweets may seem to be abusive when viewed in isolation, but may not be when viewed in the context of a larger conversation.

‘While we accept reports of violations from anyone, sometimes we also need to hear directly from the target to ensure that we have proper context.’

Twitter says the total number of reports received around an individual post or account does not impact whether or not something will be removed.

However, it could help Twitter prioritise the order in which it looks through flagged tweets and accounts.

What happens if you violate Twitter’s policy? 

The consequences for violating our rules will vary depending on the severity of the violation and the person’s previous record of violations, Twitter says. 

The penalties range from requesting a user voluntarily remove an offending tweet, to suspending an entire account. 

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