Twitter has been experimenting with threaded replies for some time as a way to potentially make replies easier to read and follow. But the company has decided to end those experiments because of user feedback, it announced on Thursday.
“We asked and you let us know this reply layout wasn’t it, as it was harder to read and join conversations,” the company wrote in a tweet published today. “So we’ve turned off this format to work on other ways to improve conversations on Twitter.”
Your feedback shapes Twitter.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) December 3, 2020
We asked and you let us know this reply layout wasn’t it, as it was harder to read and join conversations. So we’ve turned off this format to work on other ways to improve conversations on Twitter. https://t.co/pA4Yd0QfyW
In a follow-up tweet, the company said threaded replies made conversations harder to read and join and that people wanted more context about who they were talking to.
Some learnings:— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) December 3, 2020
*the new look made convos harder to read & join – we’re exploring other ways to make this easier.
*you want more context about who you're talking to – we're working to add this.
*you want more control – we’re iterating on our convo settings.https://t.co/UzS08x4Jcf
Twitter is also shutting down its beta app, which the company called twttr, designed for experiments like threaded replies. “For now we’re turning [twttr] off so we can work on new tests to improve the conversation experience on Twitter,” the company said in another tweet. People currently using twttr will lose access for now, according to the company, but Twitter is exploring potential next steps for the app as it develops future plans to test new products, a Twitter spokesperson tells The Verge.
We appreciate the feedback you gave us through this run of our prototype app twttr. For now we’re turning it off so we can work on new tests to improve the conversation experience on Twitter.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) December 3, 2020
If you’re using twttr, switch to the main Twitter app to keep up with what’s happening. https://t.co/xq4emx9HeH
Trying to follow more than even a few replies on most tweets can be a headache (see: the infamous Twitter conversation between CEO Jack Dorsey and Recode co-founder Kara Swisher), and threaded replies were Twitter’s attempt to make tracking them more straightforward.
Twitter first signaled it was considering threaded replies back in August 2018, rolled them out along with twttr in March 2019, added them to the iOS app in January, and revised how threaded replies looked for some on iOS and the web in May. But it seems the product change was one users didn’t like, so Twitter is reverting back to its old system.
Hopefully, the company comes up with a new solution at some point. But for now, we’ll be stuck scrolling forever on high-reply tweets to figure out exactly what’s going on.
Update December 3rd, 2:30PM ET: Added context about twttr from Twitter.