Potential new features in Twitter

Tony Mathew
10 min readJun 13, 2020


Some of the greatest conversations and learning in the internet happen on Twitter. These are some thoughts on potential features that could help twitter users to utilise the platform in a more convenient fashion

A, Elimination of typo errors

A1, Edit option

  • Important tweets should not be ruined by typos or simple mistakes
  • Allow tweets to be edited upto a certain number of words or characters to eliminate typos. Text parsing logic analyses if edit is for typo and is permissible and does not alter the full context of the tweet
  • Provide a max editable window of 24 hours.
  • A version history button to view the full edit history of a tweet, thus avoiding misuse of the feature or tampering with original tweet
  • Indicate edited parts of a tweet with subtle coloring or underlining

A2, Spelling and grammar check

  • A service, similar to grammarly, that is inbuilt in the compose screen
  • User still has option to ignore the suggestions and tweet as they like
  • Can possibly charge users for enabling this feature for the twitter account

B, Contextually apt reactions

Primary reaction other than like

  • Twitter’s current single option of user reaction ( Like) keeps the interface clean
  • Different contexts may have different more appropriate primary reaction, like condolence, anger
  • Allow author of the tweet to set the primary reaction type for her/his tweet

C, Better organisation of tweets

C1, Enhanced search of DMs, bookmarks and interacted tweets

  • DM Search : Option for users to search using keywords across all chats and within a single chat
  • Bookmarks search : Option for users to search bookmarked tweets by keywords , tweet author, date, etc
  • Own & interacted tweets search : Option for users to search their own tweets & replies and also the tweets they have liked or retweeted, by using keywords

C2, Multiple categories for bookmarking

  • Provide users with min 3 categories of bookmarks to organise their saved tweets better
  • Color code the categories and indicate a bookmarked tweet with a colored line for that category
  • Can include default categories like books recommendations or user can create custom

C3, Notes and reminders for a tweet

  • User can write a note behind the tweet for their own future reference
  • Option to set a time reminder for taking any further action
  • Provides a convenient option for user to organise the tweets they like or bookmark

C4, Channels for different tweet categories

  • Highly followed users tweet about different categories like : career, personal life, hobbies
  • A user can categorise her/his tweet by choosing a channel. Max 5 channels per user
  • Followers can follow a user’s full profile and view all tweets or choose specific channels only and see only tweets in those channels

C5, Soft copy of text in screenshots and pics

  • Many posts contain screenshots of long posts from other sites like Facebook and Linkedin or pics of books, newspapers, etc
  • An OCR service enables users to get a soft copy of the text in such pics that are included in a tweet
  • This will enhance the amount of reusable info that users get out of twitter
Example of a tweet with screenshot of long text in another website : https://twitter.com/rodinhood/status/1250352404614115329

D, Enhanced threads experience

D1, Easier thread composer

  • A composer where the user can type the entire content of a thread in one single window continuously instead of multiple tweets using + button
  • Twitter auto suggests breakpoints at each 280 chars to help user to plan complete sentences as one tweet.
  • Option to enable auto tweets counter instead of user typing the count
  • A toggle switch to enable this threads composer or existing format
  • Option to publish as full article to Linkedin, Medium, Facebook, etc

D2, Enhanced thread reader

  • Option to read an entire thread in a single continuous text format
  • Readers should be able to retweet, like and reply to the entire thread instead of current practice of reacting to first or last tweet in the thread
  • Subtle indication of breakpoint for each tweet and option for users to tap to go into an individual tweet and see the replies , likes and retweets

D3, Threads for long posts and commentary

  • Official press releases will display all tweets together in a continuous manner with subtle indicator for individual tweet breakpoints
  • Sports commentary will display tweets with timestamp on the left and text on the right to make it more similar to conventional commentary format

D4, Audio listening option for threads or tweets using TTS

  • A Text-to-Speech based engine that allows users to consume tweets, especially long threads in audio format
  • Users can ideally create a playlist of threads or tweets for later listening and play all of them sequentially when needed

E, Improved timeline experience

E1, Multiple read modes

  • Different mode options that allow the user to select the category of tweets to be seen in their timeline in the current session based on the amount of time they want to spend
  • Short session mode — User sees only tweets and retweets of whom they follow
  • Medium session mode — User also sees the tweets liked or replied by whom they follow
  • Full session mode : User also sees the all other suggested tweets from full feeds algorithm

E2, Read tweets tracker mode

  • Roughly estimates whether a tweet was read by a user or not based on amount of time spent on a tweet while scrolling
  • Tweets that are already read by the user will not be repeated in her / his timeline
  • This enables user to see maximum newer tweets while scrolling through twitter timeline
  • Reduces the chances of the user missing important tweets
  • User can disable this mode to experience twitter timeline in the existing normal mode

E3, Improved character counts & mentions display

  • Make tweets with large number of mentions more readable by displaying the mentions separately from the tweet text and without counting towards 280 character limit
  • Easier to understand mentioned profiles by displaying full names along with twitter ids

E4, Custom tweet viewer in Whatsapp

  • Tweets shared in whatsapp appear like any other web URL and offer no custom interactions
  • Increase engagement of tweets with options to view, like or retweet from within Whatsapp
  • User can link her/his twitter id to whatsapp and complete various actions using that id
  • Auto create ids for for users without ids using their phone numbers

E5, Summary of replies to a tweet

  • Many popular tweets with open questions to the audience may have large number of replies
  • Answers get very repetitive when a large number of users reply
  • Text parsing based logic that allows the viewers of the tweet to see a rough summary of the replies in terms of the most popular answers , the number of users who gave an answer, etc

E6, More informative user profiles

  • More information on a user profile page like the major topics that the user tweets about , level of recent activity, most liked and retweeted tweets
  • Option for the user to showcase multiple pinned tweets in carousel format
  • Common tweets liked, retweeted or replied which shows similarity
  • Easier search of user profiles based on multiple input parameters. Example : i, Doctors in Poland, ii, Techies who attended Arizona State University
  • Option for users to get verified indicators for their profile credentials like education, employment, etc to increase profile authenticity

F, Better discoverability of popular older tweets

F1, Twitter magazine

  • A search window that surfaces highly liked interesting content
  • Based on a user’s search keyword suggest amazing and varied contents that were liked by others or highly appreciated
  • Auto build a curated set of posts based on topics and suggest to users in a magazine format
  • Similar suggestions of popular, interesting posts based on tweet locations

F2, Older tweets as an article

  • Some of the best contents in twitter were already tweeted and not recent
  • A mechanism to rediscover some of the best contents that were already tweeted in the past
  • Authentic contents that are very informative can be tagged as textbooks for particular keywords or topics and can be resurfaced again to users who have not seen it before
  • Ideally such tweets or threads can be shown to new users of twitter based on their topics of interest

G, Reduce online abuses and enhance safety

G1, Self verification of profile pic & name and green ticks

  • Users with original profile picture and original name are more likely to be at a better behaviour in social media
  • Most common abusive profiles have fake names and random pics
  • Eventually all twitter profiles will have either blue ticks (twitter verified) or green ticks (self verified)
  • Non-verified profiles can be restricted in their features and given low priority in feeds & replies algorithms

Profile pic verification tick :

  • An app section stores reference pics of the user by asking to click selfies with certain movement patterns to ensure that it is a live authentic person
  • User can then input the intended profile pic and the app will run a Deep Learning model to compare with the reference pics and generate a verified tick for the DP if the pics are similar

Name verification tick :

  • User can use an app section to send a name verification request to a service provider with whom the user had already done a verification using government id, like banks, insurance
  • The partner service provider returns a name verification token to twitter for user’s full name

G2, DM Filtering

  • Text parsing + image detection to fully block any abusive content in DM, before reaching receiver
  • In case of suspicious content that cannot be fully classified as abusive or not, the receiver gets a choice screen whether they want to see the suspicious DM from the particular user
  • Warning strikes and eventual auto-blocking of profiles of users who send abusive DMs or tweets

G3, Equality mode

  • Many early and less ferequent users may find twitter more welcoming if they don’t feel intimidated by the various counts
  • If a user turns on equality mode :
    i, Followers & Following counts of the user will be hidden. Other users can only see some common followers stats
    ii, Likes & Retweets counts will be hidden for the user’s tweets. Other users can only see an indication of the likes and RTs range for popular tweets of the user, like >1k

G4, Safety mode to avoid accidental likes or tweets

  • Provides a precaution against a user accidentally liking a tweet while browsing in mobile. With safety mode ON, a user has to double tap on like button to like a tweet
  • Adds protection against an individual posting unnecessary tweets from an official corporate id by requiring two or more individual ids to approve a tweet before posting

H, Freemium tiers

Twitter could introduce the new features as paid tiers

  • Free to use : existing twitter features
  • $1 per month — Above + Grammarly spellcheck + 3 bookmark types + Enhanced search of DMs, bookmarks and interacted tweets
  • $5 per month — Above+ 10 bookmark types + twitter magazine + notes behind tweets+ more informative user profiles
  • $10 per month — Above + Read a certain number of articles across multiple paywalled sites without any extra payments or logins. Example :The Economist, The Wall Street Journal