View profile

Big Revolution - Making sense of Twttr

Welcome to the start of another week with the Big Revolution newsletter. Here's what I've got for you
May 13 · Issue #418 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to the start of another week with the Big Revolution newsletter. Here’s what I’ve got for you today…
— Martin from Big Revolution

Big things you need to know today
  • A new report highlights UK tech workers’ concerns about the negative impact of their work. But while 45% would welcome greater regulation of the industry, most believe tech is a force for good overall, according to the Doteveryone report.
The big thought
Twttr's minimalist icon.
Twttr's minimalist icon.
Making sense of Twttr
It’s now been a few weeks since I got access to Twitter’s experimental ‘twttr’ app. This is designed to test out new features on a group of iOS users (there’s no Android version yet).
It’s worth noting that if you’re worried you’re missing out, there’s actually very little here that’s different from the normal Twitter app. It’s identical, except for the elements they’re testing at any one time.
Twttr’s initial focus is on making discussions easier to follow. What this means in practice is a layout for replies to a tweet that look more like a Reddit threat than traditional Twitter. What’s more, some threads are hidden until you choose to expand them, to reduce clutter.
This is very useful for helping to follow the conversations below tweets — until those conversations become particularly busy.
Once you have multiple people replying, and replying to replies, and replying to those replies, the screen fills up with vertical lines that makes it tricky to read the tweets…
Twitter does offer labels for the replies by the original author of the tweet, and by people you follow, helping you pick out parts of the conversation that might interest you, but it still feels messy.
This reflects the fact that Twitter has always been bad at handling lengthy, multi-participant conversations. A bunch of vertical lines don’t change that, sadly. However, I still prefer the new layout overall.
But perhaps the single best thing Twttr offers is a fun extra; the ability to swipe right-to-left on a tweet to ‘like’ it. It does’t quite work consistently everywhere, but I’ve grown to love it as it feels very satisfying. Twitter does a good job of making you feel good when you 'like’ a tweet. The long-established way the haptics 'pop’ under your finger when you tap the heart on certain iPhones is a subtle but powerful bit of UX.
So you’re not really missing out if you don’t have Twttr, but it’s a useful reminder of just how challenging it is to make Twitter a more constructive, useful place to hang out.
If you’d like to apply to try Twttr, you should fill in this form.
One big read
Your 5G Phone Won’t Hurt You. But Russia Wants You to Think Otherwise. Your 5G Phone Won’t Hurt You. But Russia Wants You to Think Otherwise.
How Russia’s TV station in America is seeding panic about supposed health risks of 5G. Meanwhile, 5G is being rolled out in Russia without any such concerns.
“It’s economic warfare,” Ryan Fox, chief operating officer of New Knowledge, a technology firm that tracks disinformation, said in an interview. “Russia doesn’t have a good 5G play, so it tries to undermine and discredit ours.”
This disinformation seems to be working. My hairdresser recently asked me if it was true that birds fell out of the sky when 5G was tested in Belgium. Of course it isn’t true, but a client had told him that, so this stuff is spreading.
One big tweet
Click through for a nostalgic thread looking at Burbn, the app that preceded Instagram.
Chris Messina 🏴‍☠️
@instagram OMG you guys...!! I *finally* found my old Burbn screenshots. I totally forgot how much gamification was built into the app...!

This is the original onboarding flow for the app that preceded Instagram!

/cc @mager @grex @kevin @mikeyk #nostalgia
That’s all for today...
Back tomorrow with more. See you then! If you enjoy this newsletter, please consider supporting it by becoming a member. Click the button below for more information.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Become a member for $5 per month
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Martin SFP Bryant
You can manage your subscription here
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue