Twitter is a perpetual dumpster fire, partially because of poor management, and partially because abuse and bot accounts are rampant. The company has tried many different tactics to make the platform a better place, but it's still not great. A new update that focuses on photos is now rolling out, and Twitter quietly slipped a few other changes in.
The main attraction in this update is the new camera screen. Much like Snapchat, swiping to the left now opens a camera view. Tapping the shutter takes a photo, and holding it down captures a video. You can also select the 'Live' mode to start a Periscope livestream.
See it? Tweet it! Our updated camera is just a swipe away, so you get the shot fast. Rolling out to all of you over the next few days. pic.twitter.com/moOEFO2nQq
— Twitter (@Twitter) March 13, 2019
This feature is extremely basic at the moment. There are no filters, stickers, enhancement tools, or anything else — all of which are available when you embed a picture in the main composer view. Photos and videos posted from this screen appear as regular tweets. Thankfully, Twitter isn't cloning Snapchat Stories (yet).
The update also includes major changes to core functions of Twitter. The number of replies, retweets, and likes on each post are now hidden. This might be a response to "the ratio," where tweets are considered to be bad if the amount of replies greatly outnumbers the amount of retweets and likes.
Twitter only said the update is "rolling out to all of you over the next few days," and it's not clear if the changes are server-side or require a specific APK. If you're sick of Twitter being awful, there's always Mastodon.
It turns out that hiding interactions is part of a separate experiment by Twitter, and has not come to the official apps yet.
Yesterday, we started giving people access to our prototype app twttr which we're using to test new ideas and get feedback. Putting likes and retweets behind a tap is just an idea to help make conversations easier to read. https://t.co/HTI3ImTYe6
— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) March 13, 2019