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Twitter is about to fix one of the worst things about conversations

Updated May 6th, 2020 7:03AM EDT
Twitter Features
Image: AP/Shutterstock

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  • Twitter announced a major change to the user interface of its app that should make it easier to follow conversations and replies.
  • The new feature will be rolling out to iPhone and the web first, Twitter revealed.
  • The company is also considering changes to the Like, Retweet, and Reply icons, with a limited test already running on iOS devices.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

Twitter may be great for firing off whatever is going through your mind at any given moment, but having a cogent conversation might not always be possible. That’s not because of the things people say, it’s because of how Twitter works. Chats can easily be derailed, and controversial topics might get out of hand, making it nearly impossible to keep track of who is saying what. But Twitter is about to fix conversations for good by implementing a threaded conversation mode that will not only feel familiar, but it’ll also help users talk to each other.

Twitter announced the new feature on its support channel, where it posted an animation of how it’ll all work. Once the new conversation mode is implemented, all replies to a tweet will represent a single conversation that will get its own responses. With the help of branching lines and indentations, Twitter will make it clear to which tweet someone is answering, and allow everyone to follow and reply to the same point. That way, each reply can nest a new chat, much like Reddit works.

A new Show replies button option will appear under a response to a tweet, which will bring up the new conversation user interface. Click it, and you’ll notice light gray lines that connect each response to the appropriate tweet. This animation will show you exactly how the new feature is supposed to work:

The new feature will be rolled out initially to iPhone, iPad, and the web, Twitter explained, and you should start seeing it soon on your devices. There’s no word on when the Android Twitter app will get it, but it should happen at some point in the future so all Twitter users can enjoy the same overall experience.

The new conversation mode is not the only change Twitter is considering. The company replied to its own teaser than it’s also experimenting, placing the Like, Retweet, and Reply icons behind a tap for replies. The feature will be tested initially with a small group of users on iPhone to see how it affects following and engaging a conversation.

As for the toxicity of some of the conversations that happen on Twitter, the new changes won’t affect any of that. But it’ll sure make it easier to steer clear from some of the public Twitter chats that can quickly take a turn for the worse.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.