Twitter Makes Big Changes As Execs Work To Improve Online ‘Conversations’

Chris White | Energy Reporter

Twitter is rolling out a new prototype that executives say is designed to make the social media platform a friendlier environment for people to navigate, NBC reported Wednesday.

The company offered the public a new prototype for the Twitter app, which includes a variety of changes to how the platform looks and operates. The new version is centered around a format for conversations and color-coded replies, and supposedly creates a more intuitive experience for users.

Twitter’s new prototype also removes the engagement counts showing how many retweets or “likes” a tweet receives.

The change is supposed to make the platform friendlier and stamp down the possibility of trolling, the report notes.

“We’re also actually working on changing the product and changing the policies to improve the health of the conversations,” Keith Coleman, Twitter’s head of consumer product, told NBC. He was referring to ways the company could prevent the spread of hoaxes and conspiracy theories.

Company executives are also introducing new features to enhance pictures and video on the app, a move that adds features similar to those found on competitors like Instagram and Snapchat. The new photo feature also uses deep learning to determine a users’ whereabouts.

A campaigner from a political pressure group protests as founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg failed to attend a meeting on fake news held by Parliament’s Digital, Culture Media and Sport committee in London November 27, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

“It knows where you are and what’s going on around you,” Coleman said. “So if you’re at SXSW, it knows that, and it will suggest you add the SXSW hashtag.” Twitter’s changes come after Facebook announced on March 6 that it would also make substantial changes. (RELATED: Zuckerberg Announces Big Changes To Facebook. Here’s What People Should Expect) 

The move would shift Facebook’s focus from a social network to a platform that people use to communicate with smaller groups and their content disappears after a short period of time. Facebook focuses mostly on stoking public conversation, but it also owns closed networks like WhatsApp.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has made similar promises to focus more on privacy before, but the company continues getting bogged down in controversies, especially as it relates to their handling of private information. Twitter has faced similar problems in the past, as recent media reports show groups used the platform to spread misinformation ahead of the midterm elections.

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