Social Media Optimization (SMO)

Twitter is Working on a New ‘Replies’ Layout to Boost Engagement

Twitter is experimenting with ways to update how interactions work on the site in order to make it feel more conversational and generate a better level of engagement.

Twitter is reportedly testing a new way of interacting on the microblogging platform. It is experimenting with ways to update how interactions work on the site in order to make it feel more conversational and generate a better level of engagement.

How do the updates look like?

Speaking on the occasion, Twitter’s team presented some snapshots of how the new updates work in ‘reply threading’ and a status indicator to depict whether you are available currently to chat on Twitter.

The snapshots display the replies to be indented and shaded differently. It also shows a green dot coming up on the profile picture in case the users are online and available to converse. To summarise here are the changes –

  • Indented responses to individual tweets. This makes it easy to understand which tweet carries which reply when the user is scrolling on the screen
  • Shading to denote the different forms of tweets. So your own tweet would be indicated in blue and the original tweeter’s post would be marked in a purple shade
  • Green dots to denote an online user who is available to chat. This would be conducive to the engagement inside the platform and generate a better degree of interaction.

What is the audience response?

There has been a mixed response to the new ‘replies’ layout and colour. Some have praised the new update and mentioned that it does indeed help in improving the engagement factor on the plain vanilla layout they are accustomed to seeing on Twitter. Others have not been very encouraging in their critique of these updates. They feel that the design looks cluttered and doesn’t leave much white space on the limited real estate presented by the mobile screen.

Twitter had invited suggestions from users to improve engagement and spark off interactions. Here are some updates that users want to see –

  • Enable better usage of the screen space by keeping the original post pinned on the top
  • Keep replies collapsible to make optimum use of the screen space
  • Determining the number of replies that can be shown in a chain to a post
  • Add timestamps just like what is seen on other platforms like Whatsapp
  • Add an indicator that the tweeter is ‘typing…’ Similar to what is seen on Whatsapp. This will help the tweeter to confirm that the person is online and is in the process of responding

How will the update boost engagement?

The changes are made intending to propel engagement further and keep the users hooked to the site for longer. So if the user knows that there is a response coming in from an online user, the tendency would be to wait a while to see the response and engage ahead.

While the changes look promising, it is imperative that it consults with users first and get their buy-in to ensure that the outcomes are as per what they expected.

Let us know your views on these changes made to the Twitter interface.

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