The twttr prototype application Twitter first discussed last month was made available to its initial group of testers earlier this week.
Twitter Support tweeted when introducing twttr last month, “We want it to be easier to read, understand and join conversations—and we’d love to know what you think.”
Sarah Perez of TechCrunch shared details on several of the enhancements to conversations that Twitter is trying out within the prototype app.
One of the most prominent changes is the absence of engagements—heart, retweet, reply and share—in the main feed. In order to access any of those options, users must tap on the tweet and bring it to the forefront.
The idea behind this potential change appears to be lowering the number of engagements but ensuring that those engagements are of higher quality by making people go through extra steps.
Another big difference between the flagship Twitter app and the twttr prototype is the way replies are displayed.
Replies on Twitter are currently marked by a thin gray line. In the prototype app, they are instead indented and noted with a curved line (the line is blue if the user viewing the tweet follows the user who replied).
Twitter is also experimenting with rounding the edges on responses so that they appear more like chat bubbles.
The Original Tweeter tag Twitter introduced in January to distinguish the tweet that started a thread was replaced in twttr by a colored line on the left, next to the account’s name.
Finally, when people respond to someone in a thread who is not the Original Tweeter, those conversations are hidden in order to keep the main conversation less cluttered, although, as Perez pointed out, another effect is hiding responses to trolling comments.
The prototype app does feature a “show more” button, which enables people to view all of those side conversations.
The left-side navigation menu on twttr includes a twttr feedback option, which enables testers to offer their opinions on the app and the new features being experimented with via a survey form, as well as to provide further comments.
The twttr prototype app is currently available only for iOS. Interested users can apply here, and Twitter said applicants will receive emails with updates on their statuses within a few weeks.