Twitter is making conversations better — and potentially more confusing.
We’ll keep this brief: Twitter is a UX disaster. It’s been that way for a long time, but the company, which is now public and not growing nearly fast enough to appease its shareholders, is aware of the problem.
To that end, it’s done a number of things in the past year to improve the way conversations flow in the timeline. First it allowed users to retweet or quote tweet themselves (meh); it then stopped counting photos towards the 140-character limit (yay!). Now, the company no longer counts usernames towards that same limit — but only in replies.
When replying to a tweet, or to an existing thread, you now individually select the people included in the response as opposed to seeing those usernames piling up the tweet itself. That allows conversations to include considerably more people, but it also obfuscates the conversation itself, focusing on just the content. That’s potentially a good or bad thing, depending on the way people prefer to use Twitter.
The company has been experimenting with this new format for months now, performing a number of A/B tests with users. Now that it’s public and available to everyone on Android, iOS and the mobile web, it will be interesting to see the wider response.