Twitter's made some interesting choices. They've allowed incredible amounts of trolling to happen on their website for years, but now, they're finally making some massive overhauls. And they said it's to promote "healthy conversation." NBC News reported on Wednesday the site is planning new changes, and they seem to be miles away from what most users want.
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone posted this tweet yesterday which seemed to precede the news with a #letshaveaconvo and a bird less logo which was meant to promote "blue sky thinking"
Notice our new prototype? @jack and I named and designed it based on old times. It’s called, “twttr." The bird flew away from the app icon representing: Simplicity. Blue sky thinking. We’re re-working. Not there yet; hence, no logo. Bold and a little weird. #LetsHaveAConvo pic.twitter.com/WaNR2mOXO9
— Biz Stone (@biz) March 11, 2019
This big changes will include adding new features to "enhance pictures and video on the app in an effort to encourage users to make more use of the cameras on their smartphones, a move that adds features similar to those found on the apps of some of its main competition: Instagram and Snapchat."
One of the things that Twitter users seem to be least impressed about is the decision to hide likes and retweets in an attempt to make the platform "more friendly."
hello, twitter hiding engagement counts (likes and retweets) will be absolutely destructive to community-finding and community-making here. social activity doesn't come just from tweeting and replying, but from liking and retweeting too. those numbers show what people care about.
— jonny sun (@jonnysun) March 13, 2019
Twitter removing number counts on retweets and likes is an asisine move. Eliminates a lot of the energy that makes this platform go, the meritocracy it is from a content perspective and compromises the ability to pick out the value of what’s important in the moment.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 13, 2019
Twitter hiding like and RT numbers is an awful decision. Those stats are a transparent way to see that Twitter users are driving the conversation. This move makes it easier for Twitter to decide what trends/goes viral. We need to raise some hell to get Twitter to change its mind.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) March 13, 2019
On the matter of those "healthy conversations," NBC reports that Twitter says they're "actually working on changing the product and changing the policies to improve the health of the conversations,” pointing to faster and more “proactive” enforcement including the takedown of accounts spreading hoaxes and conspiracy theories." Though anyone who has reported an account to Twitter will likely take that with a pinch of salt.
If you're EVER baffled at a twitter change, just ask yourself:
HOW WILL THIS CHANGE BENEFIT NAZIS, TROLLS, ETC.
And there you will find your answer. You see, they've been complaining about 'shadowbans' and bullshit.
— Emma Evans (@TrancewithMe) March 13, 2019
The only good thing about the twitter changes I can think of is that maybe they’ll suck so bad that I’ll finally stop being addicted to this terrible place and I can leave
— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) March 13, 2019
It's the site's first major update since 2016 and so far it doesn't look like it's sparking joy in users. We'll have to wait to see how much it changes the way we use the site, or if it will finally drive people from the popular if problematic space.