Twitter is Testing Out New Labels to Clarify Tweet Reply Streams
Twitter's extending one of its conversational tests beyond its Twttr beta test app by adding in tweet labels to some streams in order to better clarify who's tweeting at whom.
We want it to be easy to follow and join conversations on Twitter. We’re testing out labels on replies: author, mentioned, and following. If you see them, let us know what you think! pic.twitter.com/L228sMbh75— Twitter (@Twitter) April 4, 2019
As you can see here, the new system would add labels like 'Mentioned' and 'Author' to streams, which may help to better distinguish responses.
It's a variation of an element within its test app - on Twttr, it's also testing a color-coded version, which highlights responses from the original tweeter, and those where you're mentioned.
How much Twitter really needs to clarify its streams is a topic of debate - Twitter seems to believe that part of what's impeding further take-up of the app is that it can be hard to understand for non-users, and can be uninviting for those considering joining in as they don't understand things like reply threads.
But that seems like a somewhat outdated notion. These days, most people are fairly aware of how such processes work, and they're likely not overly confused by tweet replies. But then again, Twitter has the usage data, it knows what turns people off, and would, you assume, have conducted various feedback reports leading to this test.
The live variation seems a little less engaging than the color-coded version too, but only time will tell what works best. It'll be interesting to see whether it helps to clarify the process, or confuses existing users by crowding their streams.
Follow Andrew Hutchinson on Twitter