The Implications of Twitter’s New Conversation UI

Today, Twitter released an update to their iOS, Android and web application that includes a new UI designed to help you read through conversations between two people that you follow on your timeline.

I personally think it’s nice. Reading through conversations on Twitter is much easier. However, the interesting implication of this is that you can now reply to yourself, and in turn, create a 2 or even 3 part tweets.

Casually conversing with myself.

In the previous versions, if you replied to yourself, it would show above your previous tweet, making it difficult to read chronologically. Now, just as if someone replied to your tweet, it gets displayed bundled together on the timeline, with the first tweet first.

This could alter the way people share on Twitter. Twitter chose to set a 140 character limit, because they want to keep tweets ‘short and sweet’. If the character limit was something like 250, I think we would have a significantly different Twitter. Now that replying to yourself displays the tweets like a multiple part tweet, there would be impacts on the way people share things, with the new real estate for words. They could share longer stories, use more words in discussion, or post more links.

Another implication is the way companies and marketers use Twitter. More words and information could be included, and depending on the parameters Twitter has set, they could potentially use this to bring back up or ‘revive’ past tweets for more exposure.

Now, the update probably won’t have game-changing effects on user behaviour, but with such a massive, constantly active network, a small change could have significant implications on how Twitter is being used by people.

This post was originally published on my blog.