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Twitter to bring in changes for 2020

Twitter may bring in a few app changes next year. This mainly involves new ways of displaying conversations, particularly Twitter threads. Currently, testing is being carried out on twttr, the company’s prototype app.

Better conversations?

One of these features is a Reddit-like conversation tree. Jane Manchun Wong, a noted reverse engineer discovered this feature being developed on Twitter. One that is similar to that of twttr. Jane notes that the feature has been tweaked to let users focus on a specific tweet of a thread, even from a permalink.

Since twttr’s official release back in March, the app’s focus has been around optimizing threaded conversations. For instance, the original tweet in a thread is marked by a microphone, like Reddit. Then there are also features like a card layout that users can activate with a tap when viewing a tweet’s details. Colour-coded replies and hidden engagements on individual tweets are some of the other features that are undergoing testing on twttr.

The new “Topics” feature will allow you to follow spcific interests

It’s unclear if all these tested features will see the light of day on the main app. According to TechCrunch, a spokesperson for Twitter confirmed Jane’s finding as part of Twitter’s plan to bring in these twttr features to the main app soon. The rollout is expected to kick off next year.

But this rollout may include more than just the display changes. Twitter might change how retweets and mentions work. Early this month, Dantley Davis, Twitter’s Vice President of Design and Research announced a list of new features in 2020. A few of these include removing yourself from a conversation, prohibiting mentioning without your permission, etc. Dantley stated he believes that “giving more control to users will help create a healthier Twitter and reduce abuse. Additionally, these features need to be easy to access and use.”

Removing inactive Twitter accounts

Recently, Twitter announced that the company will start removing inactive accounts from December 11th onwards, starting with accounts in the European Union. But the company has since dialed back on the announcement. Twitter is yet to figure out a way to memorise accounts of deceased people. Until such time, Twitter states that it will not go ahead with deleting inactive accounts.

Initially, Twitter sent out emails warning users that any account inactive for more than six months could be subject to removal if customers fail to log in by the 11th of December. However, this deadline is likely to be pushed forward by a few months at least.

Facebook already has a way of handling accounts of deceased users (image credits: CNET)

This sort of cleaning up isn’t something new for big tech platforms. Facebook removed 3.2 billion fake accounts between April and September this year. LinkedIn also removed 21.6 million fake accounts between January and June. Even Valve removed 1,000 games from Steam.

On the bright side, the expected inactive policy will free up quite a few Twitter usernames. Although, some users may see a dip in follower numbers as a result of removing the inactive accounts. Either way, it looks like Twitter is setting itself up for some significant changes in its services in 2020.

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