Twitter has made follower counts appear less prominent on its iOS app by making the font size smaller in a new redesign effort, according to a Twitter spokesperson. The change comes after CEO Jack Dorsey repeatedly said that he wants to rethink how the company could prioritize “meaningful” conversations over numbers like retweets, likes, and follows.
Follower counts are just one piece of information that has been de-emphasized by way of this redesign. A Twitter spokesperson told The Verge that other details like locations, birthdays, join dates, mutual follows, and following counts have been made smaller as well. The type and spacing sizes have been changed to prioritize some pieces of information on user profiles over others, the spokesperson said.
The change is subtle, but it’s part of Twitter’s plans to rehash some of the features of the platform. By decreasing the font sizes, users’ eyes aren’t drawn to the number nearly as much as when it’s larger.
In past interviews, Dorsey has repeatedly noted that he would like to make follower counts a less important feature on user profiles. By emphasizing an account’s number of followers, Dorsey believes it incentivizes individuals to post more polarizing content that has the potential to go viral and attract more followers, creating a more divisive and toxic discourse on the platform.
In an interview in New Delhi, Dorsey said that when developing the platform, he and his team initially “made the [followers] font size a little bit bigger than everything else on the page. We did not really think much about it and moved on to the next problem to solve. What that has done is we put all the emphasis, not intending to, on that number of how many people follow me. So if that number is big and bold, what do people want to do with it? They want to make it go up.”
Follower counts are one part of Twitter’s rethinking of some of the core aspects of its platform. Rumors arose last month that the company was deliberating whether to remove the “like” feature for tweets as well, but it never confirmed those reports.
Some of these changes appear to be on Android already, like the follower account font size, but other pieces of information, like join date, still appear larger.