Twitter to trial new features in public beta testing

Josh Peachey's picture

Twitter has announced plans to launch new features that improve how conversations on the social media platform look and feel. 

The company's overarching objective is to encourage people to talk to each other more and "increase the health of public conversation," CEO Jack Dorsey said at this year's CES in Las Vegas. 

As part of a beta testing phase, thousands of users will be able to try out new organisation and context features such as status updates and "ice breaker" tweets, similar to ones that were tested last year. 

The thread of replies format is set to be reworked, an online status signal will be added, allowing other users to know when best to engage in real-time online conversations, and pre-scripted messages will be added to encourage engagement from other users on a specific topic.

Anyone will be able to apply to join the beta testing but only a few thousand users will be selected to participate - they will be asked for feedback on the new features.

It will be tested by selected users over the next few weeks before being rolled out to all users. 

As for "improving the health of public conversation," Twitter said they were aware of the often toxic nature of some of the content on the platform. The social media giant highlighted at CES that they plan to become more proactive in removing abusive content, rather than relying on reporting from other users.