Twitter now confirms that it’s working on a new feature that would allow users to follow threads they’re interested in without needing to reply to or “heart” them.
Software engineer and researcher Jane Manchun Wong, who’s uncovered in-the-works features a number of times now, unearthed the prototype in Twitter for Android and tweeted about it shortly thereafter. In response, Twitter said it’s an attempt to make platform more “conversational.” It comes as the latest addition to Twitter’s flood of changes of late.
The new tool would add a new button on the top right corner of threads. If the user clicks it, they’ll be notified when addition tweets are added. Since there’s no need to like or reply to the thread, potential followers would, in theory, remain anonymous even while subscribed.
There’s no indication yet whether or not thread authors would be able to see who’s following conversations, though. Plus, it’s not exactly clear whether the change will affect all platforms where Twitter is available.
This is Twitter’s latest experiment in what appears to be a series of increasing attempts to enhance the social element of the site. Earlier this week, the company released the highly experimental app Twttr, adopters of which will be able to test new Twitter features ahead of regular users.
One of the biggest changes introduced by Twttr is making threads appear as chat conversations, complete with color coding and indentation to better follow its reply sequence. Also, Twitter was found to be working on a feature that would hide unwanted replies all at once, another thing Wong discovered. Twitter also revealed a new camera for the app recently, which will make it easier for users to share photos and videos.
In that regard, one could say that the new subscribe to conversation feature is part of a broader effort to make Twitter a healthier, more dynamic avenue for communication. It makes even more sense considering that Twitter’s director of product management Sara Haider confirmed earlier this year that the company is developing “some pretty big changes to the way conversations look and feel on Twitter,” but that it doesn’t want to introduce them in one go.
Does that mean there are more new features yet to be discovered? Possibly. The important thing is Twitter is committed to making its platform more customizable, which is a real boon in a time where people are rethinking their social media consumption.