Back in October, before the US Presidential elections were scheduled, Twitter had brought about a change within its retweet functionality wherein one was expected to quote the tweet before retweeting anything. The intention here was that Twitter wanted its users to ponder over and give some thought before going about retweeting a quote. The social media giant had brought about this change “to encourage more thoughtful amplification.”
There were news reports of many social media networks trying to curb any misinformation regarding the Presidential elections. And for the same purpose, Twitter has brought about this Quote Tweet option so that users could put in some information before retweeting anything.
However, it looks like things did not proceed in a manner that was anticipated by Twitter. On Wednesday, the social media giant announced that it would be switching back to the original retweet functionality. Twitter gave a statement saying, “Retweet functionality will be returning to the way it was before.” The company also posted a line of tweets in which it went on to say, “We don’t believe that this happened, in practice. The use of Quote Tweets increased, but 45 percent of them included single-word affirmations and 70 percent had less than 25 characters.”
Not just this, right from the time the quote tweet functionality was introduced, the number of retweets and quote tweets dropped by almost 20%, claims Twitter.
The quote tweet option did not mandate users from writing anything before retweeting it. Rather, they had the option of leaving the prompt field empty without mentioning anything within it and retweeting the same empty quoted tweet with their followers. However, Twitter’s sole purpose was not achieved, and hence, it decided to do away with this functionality. After all, if people could leave the prompt field blank, it would be better to simply retweet, like how it was happening earlier.
Before the Quote Tweet functionality, Twitter had introduced the “Retweets with comments” functionality on its platform. This was sometime in May. With the help of this feature, the user could post comments while retweeting. However, it was not mandatory to post comments. The option was just being provided. Twitter could make out the number of retweets with and without comments, thanks to this functionality. Then this same feature began to be known as the “Quote Tweet” feature.
Twitter has also shared a blog post in which it went on to state that users were not receiving any “liked by” or “followed by” suggestions on their timeline. These recommendations were stopped by Twitter so that people do not start following any random person on the platform, ultimately promoting misinformation. However, Twitter stated that it did not find any significant change by introducing this functionality. Rather, people had started losing out on many conversations that would have otherwise been quite informative. Thus, Twitter would be getting back these features once again on its platform.
Twitter maintains that it will keep on striving to promote more “thoughtful amplification.” The organization believes in the ideology of having multiple solutions for this purpose, and out of which, some would prove to be effective. Information sharing would get more and more effective only if users are encouraged to read more and more, feels Twitter.
Image source: TheVerge