In October 2018, microblogging network Twitter stated that it planned on redesigning the platform so that conversations taking place on the site are easier to follow. This would encourage more useful and friendlier discussions.
Now, it is reported that the company is at a stage where it is ready to begin testing the redesign with a wider set of users. It will now be taking applications from eager users who want to be part of the test. To become a part of the test, interested users must complete the application form.
According to Twitter, the new design has been created with the intention of making it easier for users to see more of what people have to say on the platform.
The new design will see a rounded shape to replies, which will give conversations on the site a more familiar look as they begin to look more like the traditional text message exchange that many other platforms have adopted. Replies to the initial messages will also be indented, making it easier to differentiate between the messages sent from one user and the replies from the other.
Furthermore, these messages will be colour-coded, another familiar feature for most users, with replies from people known to the user appearing in blue and replies from the original tweeter appearing in grey.
Twitter is also planning to experiment with its efforts to detract from the emphasis currently places on engagement numbers. At present, the number of retweets, likes and comments a tweet has are placed at the bottom of the tweet for all to see. However the company will be making these statistics hidden until the user clicks on the reply, sharing options or any other details about the tweet.
Following the feedback the company receives from this next round of testing, it is likely that Twitter will implement a set of amends and changes to these updates, and a statement from the social network stated that a general release of these features to the entire site could be a few months away yet.
Considering that Twitter has stated numerous times that it plans to fundamentally rethink all aspects of the site, these changes are relatively small and basic, and have existed on other platforms for a long time. The refresh should be a welcome change in terms of enhancing the user experience, but it is unlikely to alter the nature of conversation on the site.