Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Recent Changes Mark Future of Twitter

By Malik McIntyre 

Journalism Student

photo from the official account @Twitter

Twitter is one of the most popular social media apps, but is it becoming a copy of every other app?

In the past few months, Twitter has been announcing some new and exciting features. 

Will Amminger, Ole Miss student and active Twitter user, feels as though these changes could represent the future of the app.

“Twitter is finding new ways to reinvent itself. Apps are constantly getting updates, because the landscape of what users crave changes constantly,” Amminger said. “It’s very rare that we see social media giants transforming their platforms drastically. I see the potential for that to happen with Twitter.”

Some of the changes that Twitter has announced are voice chatrooms, downvote reply buttons, voice transformers, and an upgrade from fleets. 

Many people have expressed their disliking of some of the new features. Users have expressed concern that Twitter is only creating new features to compete with other leading apps.

“I understand that they have to compete with other apps, but can you come up with something a bit more original?” Amminger said. “They’ve taken ideas from Instagram, Snapchat, and Clubhouse. I think a lot of users like myself just want something new. What we’re getting so far is something old repackaged.” 

Social media analyst Dalton Cook of Memphis had his own theory on why Twitter has been going through these major updates.

“Over the years Twitter has fallen in the popularity rankings of social media apps,” Cook said. “They are no longer in the top 15 most popular apps worldwide. The company is looking at other apps and what users are engaging with the most.

“They are taking the features that they see and putting their own spin on them to see if they can generate more user engagement. Sometimes these features don’t do as well as they would hope. A great example of this is the announcement that Twitter fleets will be going away. The Instagram story-like feature did not flow as smoothly as users hoped.”

Over the years many people have expressed features that they would like to see the app implement. 

“We’ve been asking for an edit button for years, and they’ve given us everything except that,” Cook said. “Users have been asking for more characters to tweet for years, but they give us a new feature that is basically the up or down vote that Reddit has.”

Social media is always changing. You can always expect platforms to try and implement new features along the way. 

Twitter has had some success when it comes to integrating new elements into the app. One of the most popular additions has been the ability to quote tweets from other users.

“This won’t be the last time Twitter tries to add new features that may not work out. I think that they should be more open to user suggestions,” Cook said. “We are the users so why not do what you know will make the users happy.”

There is no way to track what feature from what app will be popular next. It’s always interesting seeing social media platforms compete with each other for user attention. 

Twitter has been able to reinvent itself before and remain successful. They are one of the leaders of conversation on the internet, and they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.


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