Twitter sure seems to have a lot of updates and tweaks coming over the next few weeks – at least according to Elon Musk’s tweets.
One of Musk’s new favorite Twitter functions, which he just seems to have discovered, is bookmarks, and using bookmarks as a means to tag a tweet that you may be interested in, but don’t necessarily want to ‘Like’.
Twitter has a bookmark function accessible through share button on tweet.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 31, 2022
To read bookmarks, tap profile icon.
This obscure UI will be fixed in Jan.
Because ‘Like’ is not always the right flag - I might, for example, want to tag a tweet from Elon himself for an article at a later stage, but maybe I don’t ‘Like’ it, as such. Bookmarks are private, and you can tag anything for later reference – but as Elon says, maybe the functionality is too hidden, reducing its usage.
With this in mind, Twitter’s developing a new approach to the bookmarks display, which would bring the functionality upfront.
As you can see here, in the top right of the tweet detail display, you may soon have a new bookmark option, making it easier to quickly tag and save a tweet for later reading.
Which is good, I guess, and it could help to get more people bookmarking more things.
Will that have any real impact on tweet engagement? Probably not, but Elon seems to be of the belief that bookmarks – like Community Notes and verification ticks – are actually far more valuable than you or I realize.
Though I would argue that most active Twitter users are aware of the bookmarks function, or they have their own process for flagging tweets. Still, maybe it’s an underused option, and maybe, by making it more present, that will indeed get more people bookmarking more things, and deepen their engagement in the app.
And if it doesn’t, and people don’t use it, no real impact, other than development workload on Twitter’s end.
Elon also seems to have broader plans for the use of bookmarks, and what they might mean, in terms of tweet metrics.
Public likes & non-public likes (aka bookmarks) should both be included in like count.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 5, 2023
Bookmark button should be on main tweet view.
I mean, that probably runs counter to the whole point of adding bookmarks on the main tweet, as an alternative to Likes. But maybe it’s just that they’re private that’s the true value, and incorporating bookmark stats into Likes actually makes some sense.
Overall, I doubt any change to the presentation or measurement of bookmarks will have any major impact on Twitter engagement, but it could be a helpful option to have more immediately available in the UI, and that could get more people gleaning more value from their tweet experience.
And it could also serve as a handy tool for advertisers, especially if Twitter looks to push into shopping, with product listings within tweets. Maybe, by making it easier to save items to a private list, that could also have implications for future product engagement in the app.
As noted, this is just one of several feature updates that Musk has committed to rolling out this month.
As per Elon’s tweets, throughout January, Twitter will be adding:
- The option to side-swipe between algorithmic and real-time tweet feed
- New explanations as to why an account has been suspended
- Updated view count display
- Bookmarks added to main UI
Elon’s looking to boost the rate of implementation, as part of his ‘hardcore’ engineering approach – but thus far, as we’ve seen with Twitter Blue and other tweaks and changes, that rapid deployment approach hasn’t always worked out the best.
But this, apparently, is Elon’s way, and when you spend $44 billion on an app, you get to run it how you want.
It’ll be interesting to see how each of these changes impacts Twitter usage, and whether, cumulatively, they help to shift the needle on its key metrics.