Twitter changes to be 'more like Facebook'
Twitter has begun rolling out a number of new features, which it says will make it easier to follow conversations.
Conversations will now be shown together rather than in a strictly reverse chronological order, in a feature which has already rolled out to some handsets and will now be updated in all iPhone and Android apps, as well as twitter.com.
Up to three tweets will be displayed in sequence, with a line connecting them to show they are part of the same conversation. If users want to view the whole conversation they can tap on the first tweet.
The company said in a statement on Thursday: “From buzz about the VMAs to debates around upcoming football games, people come to Twitter to take part in these real-time, global, public conversations.
“To date, such exchanges haven’t always been easy to follow. With this in mind, we’ve now made it easier for you to see conversations as they’re taking place.”
Some commentators have suggested the move will make the social networking site more like Facebook, with tweets becoming more like comments on a status posting.
Easier-to-follow conversations may encourage users to stay longer on the site, getting involved with discussions they would not otherwise have seen in full.
The company also announced a function that would make it possible to share Twitter conversations via email, even with friends who do not have a presence on a site.
For Android operating systems the Twitter app will now be half its previous size, making it faster for users to download and install, the company added.
And it said it would be introducing a ‘report tweet’ button for abusive messages, following a campaign by a number of women who were targeted on the site.
Caroline Criado Perez, one of the women behind the campaign, praised the move but said that more needed to be done to deal with online harassment.
"It's great that Twitter has listened,” Ms Criado Perez said.
“There are still issues: users have to agree for the report to be potentially shared with the harasser, and there are some boxes that could be auto-populated that aren't. But overall, this is a fantastic first step."