After recently rolling out a new, separate listing of ‘Retweets’ and ‘Retweets with Comment’ in each tweet, in order to provide more transparency on engagement, Twitter is now experimenting with a simplified ‘Quotes’ listing which would replace the ‘Retweets and comments’ note on the main presentation screen.
As you can see in this example, shared by social media commentator Matt Navarra, some users are now seeing the new ‘Quotes’ count, which is the ‘Retweet and comments’ display under a different name. Reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong reported seeing the new listing in the back end code of the Twitter app last week.
As noted, back in May, Twitter officially launched its new Retweet listings, which split the two categories into their own count within the tweet detail.
Twitter then also changed the wording of the list on each tweet to ‘Retweets and comments’, but now, it’s looking to display the full counts of each on the main tweet. Having both ‘Retweets’ and ‘Retweets with Comment’ in a single line below the tweet itself probably looks a bit cluttered, hence it’s looking at the shorter ‘Quotes’ marker instead.
The dilemma for Twitter will be around clarity – do users understand the reference to ‘Quotes’ in this capacity enough for it to work as an effective listing change?
Twitter has been working to make its platform easier to understand over the last few years after various feedback reports suggested that the platform was difficult to get a handle on, which was impeding usage. As such, small changes like these do matter, even if, in a functional sense, they don’t have any real impact on how most people interact.
Really, it’s not going to have a heap of impact on most users, but it is worth noting the potential change, and the considerations that go into such decisions. Twitter needs to ensure that it’s providing easily accessible data and insights, in a simple, easy to understand way.
So while it’s more a point of interest for regular users, it could have more relevance in certain contexts.