Tag Archives: Twitter

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.


Some Conservatives are Leaving Twitter and Facebook for Parler



Are you unhappy with Twitter and/or Facebook? Do you consider yourself to be conservative? It might be time for you to stop using the big social media companies and switch over to one that appears to be very popular with people who are conservative. The New York Times reported that Parler was at the top of Apple’s App Store in downloads last weekend. It is a Twitter-like social media app that doesn’t seem to have as many rules as Twitter (or Facebook) do.

Despite the conservative ire, Facebook and Twitter have long taken a mostly hands-off approach to digital speech. In recent months, however, the companies ramped up their efforts to prevent election misinformation. Facebook and Twitter said they would label false posts and slow down how quickly they could be shared, among other moves. They said many of the changes would be temporary.

The main idea I got from reading The New York Times article is there are people who are angry with Twitter and Facebook. That, by itself, is not unusual.

This group, however, considers themselves to be conservative. A number of them seem to think that Twitter’s labeling of tweets that contain misinformation is equal to censorship. One could assume that this group is also displeased when Facebook removes groups that have broken their rules. Parler offers conservatives a social media app where nothing will be labeled or fact-checked.

Slate reported that there already are some well known conservatives who are on Parler (but have not entirely left Twitter or Facebook). This includes Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and Eric Trump. Houston Chronicle reported that U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator Devin Nunes, and Tucker Carlson are on Parler.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Parler says that all are welcome. That could mean that it is not specifically intending to be a “bubble” for conservative-minded people. Personally, I don’t think it will interest very many people who do not happen to be conservative.


Twitter Makes Changes Ahead of 2020 US Election



Twitter announced additional, significant product and enforcement updates that it says will increase context and encourage more thoughtful consideration before tweets are amplified. I believe that certain US politicians are going to become irate about these changes. Overall, I think these changes will be beneficial to most people who use Twitter.

Financial Times reported that these changes come weeks before Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey and Facebook head Mark Zuckerburg are due to testify before the Senate commerce committee as part of a review of Section 230, which gives them immunity from being sued over content that they publish.

Previous to these changes, Twitter already implemented policy that does not allow anyone on Twitter to manipulate or interfere in elections or other civic processes.

They have expanded that policy:

  • People on Twitter, including candidates for office, may not claim an election win before it is authoritatively called. To determine the results of an election in the US, Twitter require either an announcement from state officials, or a public projection from at least two authoritative, national news outlets that make independent election calls. Tweets which include premature claims will be labeled and direct people to our official US election page.
  • Tweets meant to incite interference with the election process or with the implementation of election results, such as through violent action, will be subject to removal. This covers all Congressional races and the Presidential Election.
  • Starting next week, when people attempt to Retweet one of the tweets with a misleading information label, they will see a prompt pointing them to credible information about the topic before they are able to amplify it. Tweets with labels are already de-amplified through Twitter’s recommendation systems, and these new prompts will give individuals more context on labeled Tweets so they can make informed decisions on whether they want to amplify it to their followers.
  • Additional warnings and restrictions will be added on tweets with a misleading information label from US political figures (including candidates and campaign accounts), US-based accounts with more than 100,000 followers, or that obtain significant engagement. People must tap through a warning to see these Tweets, and then will only be able to Quote Tweet. Likes, Retweets, and replies will be turned off, and these tweets won’t be recommended on Twitter.
  • Beginning on October 20 and continuing through the end of Election week in the US, Twitter will prompt people to Quote Tweet instead of Retweet. Twitter hopes it will encourage everyone to not only consider why they are amplifying a tweet, but also increase the likelihood that people will add their own thoughts, reactions, and perspectives to the conversation.