Tag Archives: Twitter

Twitter Confirmed it is Testing an “Undo Tweet” Feature

There have been many Twitter users who want an edit button. Twitter does not seem to be interested in making one. Instead, Twitter confirmed to CNET that they are testing an “Undo Tweet” feature.

It appears that the first to discover the “Undo Tweet” feature is Jane Manchun Wong, who posted a tweet about it. She wrote: “Twitter is working on an app subscription for paid features like “Undo Tweet”. The tweet includes a screenshot that could be part of a form that a user could fill out to start a subscription.

What is the subscription for? The answer to the question is unclear. My best guess is that it has something to do with the Super Follow feature, which would allow users to access exclusive content from someone they want to follow. A person must pay money in order to Super Follow someone..

Jane Manchun Wong also posted a GIF of what looks like an “Undo” button that gives a user a very short amount of time in which to click it. Clicking “Undo” before the timer runs out appears to stop that tweet from posting live. No one will see it other than the user (and maybe someone who works for Twitter).

In my opinion, the “Undo Tweet” timer functions something like a “bad take” eraser. It could be really useful for brands that are about to post a snarky tweet that, on second thought, went too far. Politicians who have a bad habit of posting tweets that cause outrage could use the “Undo Tweet” feature to save themselves some problems.

The Verge reported that Twitter has not said if this feature will be limited to paying customers. I can see why Twitter would want to monetize the “Undo Tweet” feature as a way of generating revenue (along with the Super Follow and Revue features).

Providing it for free, for all users, would be a better way to go. It might persuade some people to actively think about what they are about to post, and give them the option to prevent the mean tweet from going live. I think the result could turn Twitter into a kinder, more introspective, social media platform.

Twitter will Start Biden @POTUS Account at Zero

As you may recall, when President Obama left office in 2017, Twitter transferred the @POTUS account to President Trump. According to Business Insider, the change enabled President Trump to inherit almost 14 million followers who originally followed the @POTUS account when it belonged to President Obama.

That’s not going to happen when President-elect Joe Biden becomes President. Rob Flaherty, Digital Director for Joe Biden tweeted: “In 2016, the Trump admin absorbed all of President Obama’s Twitter followers on @POTUS and @WhiteHouse – at Team 44’s urging. In 2020, Twitter has informed us that as of right now the Biden administration will have to start from zero.”

The Biden transition team told Business Insider that the @POTUS, @FLOTUS, and @PressSec accounts will all start at zero followers. Twitter will send a one-time notification to users that follow @JoeBiden or @KamalaHarris to suggest they follow Biden’s transition team account, @transition46. That account will be rebranded as @whitehouse, according to the Biden team.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Twitter will reset those accounts’ passwords and share ownership with the National Archives and Records Administration.

The National Archives confirmed it will receive and archive content posted to those official accounts. The @POTUS account will be renamed @POTUS45 and will be frozen as-is on Twitter. Mr. Trump will maintain control of his personal @realDonaldTrump account post-presidency. When President Obama left office, the account handles were changed to @ObamaWhiteHouse and @POTUS44.

Overall, I think it is a good thing that Twitter will have the Twitter accounts of the Biden Administration start at zero. I remember feeling confused and frustrated when @POTUS shifted from President Obama to the Trump Administration. I chose to follow @POTUS when Obama was president, and didn’t understand that it would automatically shift to President Trump. In my opinion, the current followers of @POTUS will likely be very loud and angry if @POTUS shifted over to Joe Biden after he is inaugurated.

Starting the accounts of the incoming administration at zero could help prevent unnecessary harassment from Trump’s grumpiest supporters. It would also give people the opportunity to chose whether or not they want to follow the Twitter accounts connected to the Biden Administration. Having that option would likely make for better, healthier, conversation about whatever those accounts tweet.

Twitter is Discontinuing Periscope

Periscope announced that they have made the difficult decision to discontinue Periscope as a mobile app by March 2021. Periscope has provided information about how to download an archive of your Periscope broadcasts and data before the app is removed. No one will be able to make a new Periscope account in-app starting with the next release.

…The truth is that the Periscope app is in an unsustainable maintenance-mode state, and has been for a while. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen declining usage and know that the cost to support the app will only continue to grow over time. Leaving it in its current state isn’t doing right by the current and former Periscope community or by Twitter…

Periscope also wrote: “We probably would have made this decision sooner if it weren’t for all of the projects reprioritized due to the events of 2020. We’re sharing our decision with you now because we want to be transparent and honest about where we’re at and what’s next.”

Twitter posted Periscope FAQs that Periscope users may want to read. Twitter wrote: “Given our previous work integrating core parts of Periscope into the service, this move will allow us to further strengthen our live video creation natively in Twitter.” Twitter recommends that you use your remaining coins to send Super Hearts to your favorite broadcasters by March 31, 2021.

Engadget reported that any broadcasts you shared through Twitter will live on as replays. The Periscope website will stay up as a read-only archive of videos people broadcast publicly.

Twitter has a history of killing off apps after integrating them into Twitter’s platform. Twitter shut down Vine in 2016. In 2018, it killed Tweetbot, Twitterific, Talon, and Tweetings by removing access to APIs needed to power push notifications and auto-refreshing a timeline. It looks like Periscope had issues related to the events of 2020, and is not specifically being killed off by Twitter.

Twitter Acquired Squad

Squad, a screen-sharing social app, announced that is has been acquired by Twitter. As part of the acquisition, Squad will shut down the Squad app on December 12, 2020.

Esther Crawford, CEO of Squad, posted about this on Medium:

I’m excited to announce that Twitter has acquired Squad! The team will be joining Twitter to broaden the spectrum of conversations people can have on the service. Specifically, we’ll be bringing our expertise in audio and video to the creation space – and are looking forward to building new formats that allow for fun, meaningful & engaging conversations.

Ilya Brown, Twitter’s VP of product, tweeted: “Excited to share that the @squad team is joining @Twitter to help us bring new ways for people to interact, express themselves, and join in the public conversation.”

TechCrunch reported that Squad’s co-founders, CEO Ester Crawford and CTO Ethan Sutin, and the rest of the team will be coming aboard inside Twitter’s design, engineering, and art departments.

According to TechCrunch, the actual Squad app itself is not coming aboard Twitter. The Squad app allowed users to share their screens on mobile or desktop and simultaneously video chat, a feature that aimed to find the friend use case in screen-sharing beyond the enterprise use case of presenting.

The question now is: What will happen to Periscope? The Squad app is shutting down as of December 12, 2020, shortly after Twitter acquired it. Twitter shut down Vine four years after acquiring it. Periscope was acquired by Twitter in 2015 and has some functions that might be similar to what Squad offers. I guess we will have to wait and see what Periscope’s fate will be.

Twitter Adds Warning When You Try to Like a Labeled Tweet

Twitter users have probably seen some tweets that have had labels added to them. This began ahead of the 2020 election. At the time, Twitter users could not retweet a labeled tweet. They could, however, quote tweet them and add their own commentary.

Twitter has now announced, in a tweet on @TwitterSupport, an expansion of their policy:

Giving context on why a labeled Tweet is misleading under our election, COVID-19, and synthetic and manipulated media rules is vital.

These prompts helped decrease Quote Tweets of misleading information by 29% so we’re expanding them to show when you tap to like a labeled Tweet.

I tested out Twitter’s new restrictions on clicking like on a labeled tweet. When I clicked like, a small pop-up appeared that said: “The claim about election fraud is disputed” in bold text. It also said “Help keep Twitter a place for reliable info. Find out more before liking”. The pop-up included a button that said “Find Out More”.

I clicked the “Find Out More” button, which lead to a Twitter curated page with facts that show that voter fraud is exceedingly rare in the United States. Plenty of articles that back up that assertion can be found there.

What happens if I don’t want to “Find Out More”? There is a small, empty, heart on the pop-up at the bottom, with the word Like next to it. It is still possible to like a post that has been labeled as misleading from that pop-up – even if the user didn’t proceed to the fact-checked information. The pop-up slows people down, and functions as a deterrent for people who click like without thinking about it first.

Twitter’s original plan may have been to put the restrictions on labeled tweets ahead of the election, and perhaps revert back after Election Day. Twitter is continuing to use those restrictions. To me, it makes sense to do this because there are people on Twitter who continue to post misinformation about voting and the outcome of the election.

Twitter will Transfer @POTUS Account to Biden on Inauguration Day

The @POTUS Twitter handle will automatically transfer to President-elect Joe Biden when he is sworn in on Inauguration Day, Politico reported. It does not matter to Twitter if President Donald Trump has conceded by that time.

Other official Twitter accounts associated with the presidency will also automatically transfer on Inauguration Day. This includes @whitehouse @VP and @FLOTUS.

I remember when this shift of Twitter handles occurred when President Trump was Inaugurated. At that time, I was following the @POTUS handle because I wanted to keep up with the news from the Barack Obama administration. After Trump was Inaugurated, I noticed that the @POTUS account was showing news from the Trump Administration.

“Twitter is actively preparing to support the transition of White House institutional Twitter accounts on January 20th, 2021, Twitter spokesperson Nick Pacilio said in an email. “As we did for the presidential transition in 2017, this process is done in close consultation with the National Archives and Records Administration.”

Politico explained that the handover of these accounts does not require the Trump team and the Biden team to share information. All of the existing tweets on those accounts will be archived. Twitter itself will transfer the accounts and reset them to zero tweets.

Personally, I think this transition of the @POTUS account from Trump to Biden is going to take some Twitter users by surprise. I expect that some people, who don’t understand that Twitter normally shifts presidential accounts from the outgoing administration to the incoming one, will be posting angry tweets.

That said, the @realDonaldTrump account is not among the presidential accounts that will switchover on January 20th. Trump can keep using that account – but he will lose the special treatment that world leaders receive. This means he should be more careful about what he tweets, or risk having to delete tweets or having his account suspended.

How Twitter and Facebook Will Handle Trump’s Account After January 20

The New York Times reported some details about how Facebook and Twitter will handle President Trump’s accounts after he is no longer a world leader. Once again, it appears that the two social media companies have very different plans about how to respond to whatever Trump posts after his presidential term is over.

In a recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Senators asked Facebook’s Chief Executive, Mark Zuckerberg, and Twitter’s Chief Executive, Jack Dorsey, questions about their platforms. It appears that the Republicans, and the Democrats, had differing ideas about the topics that were most important to ask questions about.

The New York Times Reported the following:

Jack Dorsey said, “If an account suddenly is not a world leader anymore, that particular policy goes away.” He was referring to Twitter’s current policy of adding a label to Trump’s tweets to indicate that the content of the tweet was disputed or glorified violence. Labeled Tweets cannot be liked or retweeted.

Most Twitter users have to abide by rules that forbid threats, harassment, impersonation, and copyright violations. If someone breaks one (or more) of these rules, they may be required to delete that tweet. Or, their account may be temporarily banned.

According to The New York Times, Mark Zuckerberg said at the hearing that Facebook would not change the way it moderates Trump’s posts after he leaves office. Facebook has labeled some of Trump’s posts in which he made claims that Facebook deemed to be false information. Facebook users could still like and share those posts.

This information is useful for people who currently use Facebook and/or Twitter, as it allows people to decide for themselves which policy they would prefer to see. Those who want to read Trump’s posts after he is no longer President might choose Facebook – who will label misleading posts and leave them up. Those who would prefer their Twitter feed not to be cluttered with reactions to Trump’s misleading Tweets, may stick with Twitter.