Here’s a new thing for some Twitter users, but not entirely new for Twitter itself.
Last week, some Twitter users in the US started to see a new option to add a voice note to their DMs.
Which Twitter first began testing in 2020, then launched to users in India, Brazil and Japan in 2021. And now, more regions are getting access, providing another connective consideration in the app.
So it’s kind of new, but not really. Which is pretty much par for the course with all of the Twitter 2.0 releases thus far.
Indeed, in the first six months of Elon Musk’s ownership of the app, Twitter has ramped up its roll-out schedule, and provided users with a range of new functionalities and options – but the vast majority of them were actually in testing long before Musk took the helm of the app.
- Community Notes, which has become Elon’s key weapon in fighting misinformation, has been in development since 2021, under its previous name ‘Birdwatch’
- Creator subscriptions is a reformation of ‘Super Follows’ which Twitter initially released in 2021
- Long-form tweets is a reformation of ‘Notes’, Twitter’s in-app blogging option that it first began testing in February 2022
- Twitter’s working on encrypted DMs, which Twitter began work on in 2018
- Elon made a big deal about the introduction of ads linked to keywords, which Twitter first released in 2013 (before depreciating it because it wasn’t effective)
- Twitter view counts, which are now displayed on tweets, have been available in the tweet details view since 2015
- The new Twitter Blue text formatting features have actually been possible in tweets since forever, as Twitter supports Unicode functionality
So while Twitter is launching a lot of seemingly new things, there’s actually not much that wasn’t already in development before Musk took over at the app.
In fact, the only other changes, aside from the chaotic updates to verification, are minor UI tweaks, while Musk’s various claims around policing elements like child exploitation and spam are questionable, based on expert analysis.
But still, Twitter is putting more options out there, and that could be enough to make people think that Twitter’s doing more work now than it was when it had many thousands more staff.
It’s not, not really, but maybe, perception will help improve Twitter’s standing in some respects.