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Twitter has launched a new app designed to be a testing ground for new features. And the company wants you to help it test those new features. So if you’re an avid Twitter user keen to help shape the direction of the social media platform, here’s your chance.
A Little Background on Twitter
First, a little background on Twitter. When it was first launched in 2006, Twitter was called twttr. This was partly because the Twitter.com domain was being used by someone else, and partly because its five characters mirrored SMS short codes.
Calling the new app twttr is a nod to those early days, and suggests the company wants to build a new Twitter from the ground up. And that wouldn’t be a bad thing, as apart from the move from 140 characters to 280 characters, Twitter hasn’t changed much over the years.
The Twitter Prototype Program
That is all set to change thanks to the Twitter Prototype Program. Twitter describes the program as “exploring new ways to make the conversations you care about easier to read, understand, and join”. Because Twitter would be nothing without the conversations.
Want to help us build some new Twitter features?
We want it to be easier to read, understand, and join conversations — and we’d love to know what you think.
Sign up to be one of the first to try out our new prototype app, twttr. #LetsHaveAConvo
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) February 20, 2019
The Twitter Prototype Program is currently focused on changing the way conversations work. Which means changing the way Twitter users interact with each other. Twitter has realized following two-way conversations is tough, and is seeking to change that.
Ideas currently on the table include changing the way replies to tweets are displayed. This could involve adding rounded corners (like text messages) or adding indents (like Reddit threads). Tweets could also be color coded to make following a conversation easier.
Conversations are just the focus for now, but it’s likely that Twitter will conduct lots of other experiments in the months and years to come. And if you want to get involved, you can apply to be a part of the Twitter Prototype Program on this page.
How to Use Twitter
Twitter could definitely benefit from changing things up a little. After all, even Twitter admits people don’t know how to use Twitter. The fact that 11 years after launch we published a guide explaining how to use Twitter suggests Twitter has a problem.