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Big Revolution - Twitter status indicators are a good idea

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Welcome to the start of another week of Big Revolution. Let's dive straight in.. – Martin
 
September 3 · Issue #190 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to the start of another week of Big Revolution. Let’s dive straight in..
Martin

Big things you need to know today
  • The UK should introduce an independent regulator of online content, according to a joint letter from the BBC, Sky, ITV, Channel 4, BT and TalkTalk. The idea would be to stop social media companies to policing their platforms without oversight. The FT has the details [generally paywalled, but I could see it so hopefully you can. The original story in the Telegraph is definitely paywalled]
The big thought
Do you want people to know when you're browsing Twitter?
Twitter status indicators are a good idea
Those of you who read this newsletter every day will have seen over the weekend that Twitter has been sharing around some ideas for new features it might introduce.
You can see mockups here, but essentially, there would be threaded replies to make it easier to follow conversations, and status indicators to show when users are online. It’s the second of these that has some up in arms.
I understand why people would be worried about status indicators. Twitter has enough of a harassment problem without trolls seeking out people who are online right now to attack in real-time.
But is that even what Twitter is planning? In a reply to venture capitalist MG Siegler’s concerns, the company’s Sara Haider says “Would want to give you full control over whether or not it’s showing. Don’t want to add pressure!”
In other words, this sounds like an entirely optional feature that would allow people who want more real-time engagement to get it.
Have you ever tweeted at a customer support account, not knowing if you’d get a reply in one minute, one hour, or three days? If they had an ‘online now’ indicator, you’d know when there was someone there to answer your query.
Given Twitter’s reputation for failing to handle abuse problems on its platform, we shouldn’t expect they’ll handle this feature the right way. But if they do, it could be a handy addition to the service.
One big read
In Venezuela, new cryptocurrency is nowhere to be found
Venezuela’s struggling economy is now supposedly based on the country’s own cryptocurrency. But it seems no-one’s using it…
One big tweet
Apple’s new ‘Screen Time’ feature in iOS 12 – designed to help you keep an eye on the amount of time you spend using your device – could have the reverse effect on some people. Maybe we need a leaderboard?
Christina Warren
Honestly, Screen Time is going to have the exact opposite effect on me. Rather than encouraging me to shut down, it’s going to encourage me to get the highest times possible.
5:03 PM - 2 Sep 2018
That’s all for today...
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