Have you ever been the creator of a simple innocuous tweet, only to find out later that said tweet has gone viral? Before you know it, your tweet has been retweeted numerous times and copy/pasted by other people pretty much everywhere you look. Thankfully, this has not happened to me, but it has happened to Hans before. Nevertheless, I am certain that there are a few people out there who would be super grateful for Twitter’s latest feature: the Original Tweeter tag.
As first reported by TechCrunch writer, Frederic Lardinois, it appears that Twitter is testing out a new feature that makes it easier for users to ascertain who the original user (read: Original Tweeter) was that started a thread.
"Original Tweeter, " huh? I guess that's how they'll fix this thing. pic.twitter.com/LwRkr4T5QS
— Frederic Lardinois (@fredericl) January 24, 2019
At the time of publication of this article, the new tag seems to only be active for a few select users. No one I know (myself included), or any of the members of the Vamers Crew, or even the Vamers Twitter account, have this tag on any of our more active tweets. With that said, TechCrunch states that Twitter has confirmed that the feature is rolling out to a “small percentage” of iOS and Android users.
The aim for this new tag is to reduce confusion and make it easier to distinguish whether accounts are pretending to have started a thread or not. Sara Haider, Director of product management at Twitter, told TechCrunch that it is the company’s purpose to serve public conversation. She added that “as part of this work, [Twitter is] exploring adding more context to discussions by highlighting relevant replies – like those from the original tweeter”. It will by no means make it easy to see when someone merely copied a tweet (which is something I see happen daily), but it is a step in the right direction.
This feature, along with many of the other features Twitter has been rolling out in recent months, is all thanks to an extremely experimental “Beta app”. This beta app is available to a select few users only, and is said to feature drastically different features than what is available to the public. This includes colour-coded replies, speech bubbles in threads, an “online” indicator, and a lot more.
Those interested in participating within Twitter’s beta program are, unfortunately, out of luck. I could not find any links to a sign-up page, or even any links from the sites cited in this article and credited below. However, it seems like “a few thousand” users is all that Twitter will allow for their Beta App. If that ever changes, we will let you know.
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