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Twitter’s experimental Twttr app is even more popular than the real thing

Twitter’s experimental “Twttr” app is looking like a hit among those trying it out.

The social media company released the app a month ago as a way of testing new features with regular Twitter users. Participants’ feedback will have a big influence on Twitter’s usability as Twttr’s more popular innovations will transfer to the main app.

A tweet posted this week by Sara Haider, Twitter’s director of product management, said initial reactions suggest that most of those using Twttr prefer it to the main Twitter app, with many of the features currently undergoing testing proving popular with the participants.

These include the removal of Twitter’s engagement buttons in conversation threads for a less cluttered design. Instead, to like a response in a conversation, you need to perform a right-to-left swipe gesture, while tapping it brings up the retweet and reply buttons.

Twttr is also testing an “author” label to indicate the original poster in a thread, as well as a “following” label that shows when someone you follow drops a reply into a thread.

To make Twttr a bit more comfortable to use for the program’s participants, some features are even coming straight over the from the main Twitter app, such as dark mode and improved functionality for Twttr’s camera mode.

Anyone keen to try Twttr can still apply to join the program, but take note: You’ll be expected to use it as your primary Twitter app. In that case, be prepared for frustrations along the way, as any new features will be a work in progress and so may be buggy.

You’ll also be asked to provide Twitter with honest and regular feedback on the features that you get to test, and also to share your experiences and tweet screenshots on the main app, a practice that will enable the app’s designers to gauge opinion from a broader base of users — so long as discussions take off on the main platform.

We should note that many of the features tested on Twttr may never see the light of day — it really depends on how the participants respond to innovations that land on the test app, and whether Twitter feels they can be effectively incorporated into its microblogging service.

The main idea is that the app’s developers will be able to discover what works best without disrupting regular users with frequent changes to Twitter’s design. In that way, it’ll only add a new feature to the main app when it’s confident it’ll be accepted.

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Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
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