TWITTER HAS announced another disturbance in its force (note apt cultural reference) and as with all the best ones, it has come from user behaviour, not from its desperate attempts to make itself profitable.
The phenomenon of the "Tweet Storm" - writing a whole bunch of tweets on the same subject one after the other on subjects as important as "Why Rachel and Joey should have ended up together 1/100" (and yes, that's a real one) is being legitimised with a new option called "Threads".
Rolling out starting today, users will see a plus sign next to the Tweet button. Click that will post one tweet, but immediately start composition of the next one in the sequence, whilst linking them all together to appear as a single thread in users' timelines.
Although we've pretty much all resigned ourselves to the age of the 280 character Tweet, that was an artificially added move. Threads, on the other hand, is more like the hashtag - something that happened organically that was then written into official Twitter dogma.
Sansank Reddy from Twitter explains:
"At Twitter, we have a history of studying how people use our service and then creating features to make what they're doing easier. The Retweet, '@reply', and hashtag are examples of this. A few years ago we noticed people creatively stitching Tweets together to share more information or tell a longer story - like this. We saw this approach (which we call "threading") as an innovative way to present a train of thought, made up of connected but individual elements."
The rollout begins today across web, iOS and Android (we've already got it in the office on the web version) and will be with everyone over the next few weeks.
Why it has been named after a 1984 documentary about the effects of a nuclear holocaust on Sheffield, however, beggars belief. µ
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