Back in September, reports surfaced that Twitter was working on a new ‘Tweetstorm’ feature, which would enable users to create a series of automatically linked tweets. Twitter has now confirmed that this feature is in testing, and that test has recently been expanded among Android users, which could suggest it may be coming soon.
As reported by Android Police, the Tweetstorm features provides a new option to add tweets to your composition process, with the tweets in a set then listed on screen.
You can go back to any tweet within the sequence and edit while composing. Once you’ve completed your tweets and are ready to go, you tap the ‘Tweet All’ button, and your Tweetstorm will be posted in order, with numbers automatically added to each to signify their place in the chain.
Twitter has confirmed to TechCrunch that the option has been in testing for some time, though they declined to provide any additional details on a possible rollout. But given the recent expansion of their test, it seems to suggest that we may be seeing the option become more broadly available sometime soon, providing another way to add more context to your 280-character missives.
And that could be problem – as noted by TechCrunch, there are some concerns that with the newly instated 280 character tweets, the Tweetstorm feature could enable users to post huge, long-winded rants that clutter timelines. At 140 characters, stringing together a few shorter messages in a stream made sense, but a listing of full 280 character tweets could be an issue in this regard.
But then again, if you want an example of how this might look – and why Twitter might be considering adding Tweetstorm as an option – you need look no further than Twitter themselves.
Over the past few weeks, Twitter have been posting updates to their safety policies and rules, via a series of tweets.
Add numbers to these and it gives you an idea of what Tweetstorms could look like – these were tweeted at different times, of course, not all at once, but as an example, this is what you might see.
Is that a good thing? Would it help make Twitter more user-friendly and/or enable more interaction?
Twitter says that users are engaging more with the longer, 280 character tweets, while people are also spending more time on the platform now that they have more tweet characters with which to communicate. Could Tweetstorms form an extension to that?
The only way to know for sure is to test, which Twitter is doing, and may soon continue to do in an expanded way. Really, it’s just catering to existing user behavior – but it does come with some risks.