Twitter to publicly test new features to encourage conversations on the platform

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January 11, 2019
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A couple of months ago, Twitter stated that it had started testing out new features in order to promote healthy and positive conversations on the app. According to Engadget, in the coming week, Twitter is going to roll out these new changes to a test group of users.

Twitter previously announced features like online status indicator and “ice breaker” tweets, these features will be included in this test. The company hopes that these features will spark healthy conversations and help reduce the abuse on the social media platform.

The online status indicator feature will let people know when you are online on Twitter, just like the online status on Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger. In addition to that, the “ice breaker” feature is a revamped version of a pinned Tweet that is designed to spark new conversations. For example, users would be able to pin an interesting question to the top of their Twitter profile in order to get their followers to participate in debates or discussions. Sara Haider, the product engineer at Twitter, showed some of the new conversational features coming to Twitter back in August 2018.

Access to these features will only be given to people who are part of Twitter’s test group. Anyone can apply to become a part of this test group. However, the number of people selected for this test group would be limited to a few thousand. The people selected for this test group will be required to give feedback to Twitter regarding their thoughts on the new features.

The test group participants will be allowed to share their experiences with other users on their profile. These new features are a part of Twitter’s attempt to foster positive interactions among the users and to minimize and control the hate speech on the platform.

So far, it isn’t clear when these public tests will start. However, we know that feature like hashtags were developed with strong feedback from Twitter’s users, which means that Twitter takes feedback from users very seriously. So we might see the public tests starting sooner rather than later for these new features.

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