Twitter is starting to test
status availability and ice breaker-like tweets, which will
roll out as part of a beta program in the coming weeks.
A green bubble will appear beside beta users’ names when
they’re actively online and using the app, similar to
Instagram’s status indicator, according to new screenshots
released by Twitter and
first reported by Engadget. Twitter hopes that by
seeing someone is online, you’ll be more likely to respond to
their tweets and start a conversation.
The other feature Instagram is introducing is “ice breaker”
tweets, which are supposed to help start a conversation about a
specific topic. Users will be able to post their own ice
breakers for others to respond to; screenshots provided by
Twitter show weekly television series like Scandal and
events like CES as an example of how “ice breaker” tweets will
The new features are supposed to encourage healthy conversation
on the site, something the company has been working toward.
Twitter wants to cut down on harassment and hateful content,
and while these changes don’t directly target harassment, the
idea is to foster and highlight more positive conversations.
Twitter will begin accepting applications from users in the
upcoming weeks to participate in the beta program, which will
give some people complete access to the new features.