Twitter aims to disable retweets and mentions – and how will that affect users?
News - Nov 20, 2019
After hiding likes on Instagram and logo changing on Facebook, Twitter is also considering big changes, related to an inability to use the retweet and mention functions in posts, among other things.
Considerations about novelties were announced on Twitter by vice-president for network design and research Dantley Davis. He listed several options that might be introduced next year, preceded by tests and surveys in order to decide on future steps.
By far the most interesting novelty refers to an inability to retweet posts. Chris Wetherell, who designed the retweet button ten years ago, has recently said that the company did not consider potential problems which retweeting someone’s post without their permission might cause. In an interview for BuzzFeed, he has said that the retweet option has worsened the overall experience of using the platform.
Naturally, Twitter is not considering the elimination of retweeting. Instead, it may provide users with an opportunity to decide whether they want to ban retweeting of their posts. Thus, when a retweet appears on a timeline of their followers, they will have an option to retweet it. It is one of the options aiming to prevent abuse on Twitter, as posts are sometimes retweeted in a negative context, namely they are interpreted incorrectly in order to attack their author.
In order to protect users, Twitter is preparing another interesting option – if someone wants to mention you in their post, you will have to give an approval first. It is also one of the ways of protecting users who are often mentioned and criticised in other people’s posts. With such options available, users would no longer have to protect their accounts as private, which is a big issue for celebrities and public persons. Instead, everyone could still see their posts, but they could not retweet those posts and mention their authors in their own posts.
Regarding other potential novelties, Davis has also mentioned the option of subsequent removal of a mention of a user (@user) from a discussion, which could also be a useful option for many.
These are not the options which we can definitely expect, but they have recently been discussed on Twitter, so it is possible that the company will actually implement some (or all) of them on its platform.