Hate Twitter? Tired of seeing tweets out of order? Have longstanding complaints about its interface? Annoyed by Trump’s nonsensical tweets?
Well, you may not be able to fix all of these problems, but you can help do your part. This week, Twitter announced it’s launching a “prototype” beta program, Twttr, focused mainly on changes to replies and how users interact. The program is opening to the public, though you’ll have to apply to be accepted.
Here’s everything you need to know about joining Twitter’s new beta-mode, which includes colour-coded tweets (!):
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
What kind of changes are there?
While Twitter hasn’t shared any screenshots of its new interface, a few changes include rounded, indented replies so they appear more “approachable” and “chatlike” (that’ll look a little like direct messages as they appear now). Conversations will also be colour-coded, so you can more easily identify an original poster’s tweet in grey from all users who’ve replied, in blue.
Perhaps the biggest change is that share options and engagement will also be hidden from view when going through your timeline. You’ll have to tap on a tweet in order to view them in the prototype mode.
Are these changes good?
Sure. Based solely on reading these changes, they’ll feel a little more like texting (and distinguishing between original posters from replies is a good idea). Hiding engagement is a bold move, though. Sometimes, you want to see popular tweets for a reason and hiding that from plain view will obscure that (how will I keep up with the latest memes??)
Angel Olson once sang “they made a meme out of my legacy darling,” but I have never found a meme that fully encompassed my lasting effect on the world. Luckily, I can now (easily) make my own bespoke memes, with a little help from template accounts on Instagram.
How can I apply?
You can apply via Twitter’s application form. According to TechCrunch, they’re only accepting a few thousand applicants, most of whom will be English and Japanese speakers. If you’re accepted, you’ll receive an email over the coming weeks.
Once you’re invited, you’ll be able to send feedback by way of a closed form or tweet at support staff.
Will these changes roll out to all users?
Perhaps! If you join the program, vocalize your support (or disdain) of its new features and you may very well see some of these changes on Twitter in a few months.