Twitter is starting to test new ways of displaying tweets, which will roll out as part of a beta program in the coming weeks.
The beta program will include new features like speech bubbles, indenting, and different colors determined by whether you follow someone or are replying, according to a Twitter representative. They can be seen in the tweet below.
Other features, like status availability seen in the screenshot below, may roll out in the future, according to Twitter’s rep. This feature will not be available in the upcoming beta program, though.
hey Twitter. we’ve been playing with some rough features to make it feel more conversational here. presence and reply threading. still early and iterating on these ideas. thoughts? pic.twitter.com/3U3NvpHWPy— sara haider @ CES (@pandemona) August 31, 2018
The status availability feature would place a green bubble beside beta users’ names when they’re actively online and using the app, similar to Instagram’s status indicator, according to new screenshots released by Twitter and first reported by Engadget. Twitter seems to imagine that by seeing someone is online, you’ll be more likely to respond to their tweets and start a conversation.
Another feature that could roll out in the future is “ice breaker” tweets, which are supposed to help start a conversation about a specific topic. Users would be able to post their own ice breakers for others to respond to. An additional feature would let people attach tags to their tweets that explained what they were in reference to, like a TV show.
The new features are supposed to encourage healthy conversation on the site, something the company has been working toward. Twitter wants to cut down on harassment and hateful content, and while these changes don’t directly target harassment, the idea is to foster and highlight more positive conversations.
Examples of tags that could roll out to users in a future update.
Twitter will begin accepting applications from users in the upcoming weeks to participate in the beta program, which will give some people complete access to the new features.
Correction January 9th, 6:35PM ET: This story initially stated that Twitter would begin testing status icons and ice breaker questions. It won’t; instead, the company will begin testing new ways of displaying tweets.