Twitter has made changes to its upcoming status feature, introducing emojis and new tags into the mix for users to use and enjoy however they want.
Twitter has been fiddling with the status feature for quite a while; the feature was originally previewed in 2018 (that was four years ago, I can almost hear my bones cracking with age), and was part of Twitter’s attempt to connect with new social media audiences. I could see it working, of course; if other social media platforms had already done the idea first, then Twitter jumping on the too late bandwagon is exactly what will save the platform. The social media site is of course not in any immediate danger of bankruptcy or such qualms, but it does seem like a cultural shift is happening. Platforms such as TikTok and the further success of Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts have proven that future generations continue to respond to short visual media above all else.
Not only is Twitter’s shorthand text derivative media not shorthand visual media, it’s not even visual media. While I’m not here to make dense generalizations about how younger generations don’t read books like older ones, Twitter’s restrictions on being a word-oriented platform are definitely limiting. Even as the platform continues to expand to other businesses, introducing videos, threaded replies, etc., it cannot hope to emulate the success of other social media platforms that have built all their mark on such features.
Either way, Twitter is going to keep moving forward because it’s much easier to copy past features than to create new trends yourself. The new status features are something you’ve come across before on Facebook: they’re basically tags that appear just above a message, usually next to or just below a user’s name, and they consist of a fun exclamation with a relevant emoji. Think of the Feeling Excited or Feeling Sad tags that appear on the social network: this is exactly what Twitter is trying to aim for. Social media extraordinaire and serial leaker Jane Manchun Wong used her reverse engineering tricks and managed to identify many of the upcoming tags.
These consist of “A Thread”, accompanied by a spool of thread as an emoji. These are for, well, threads, which often begin with the opening line of “a thread” in the current vernacular. There’s Spoiler Alert with a warning sign, Need Advice with a Magic 8 Ball (which I think is pretty clever), AMA with a mic, Shower Thoughts with, well, a shower, Hot Take with a red pepper, Vacation Fashion with a palm tree, and finally Unpopular Opinion with a mushroom. I’ll leave the latter up to interpretation, see what answers we get in the comments section.
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