Why Twitter must have an 'edit' button, not copycat 'Fleets'

Admin 2020-06-14 16:29:12 IANS
Twitter is currently testing disappearing tweets feature 'Fleets' in India and to be honest, the original Snapchat tool (called Stories) that has been copied by both Facebook (Stories) and WhatsApp (Status) may disturb the fabric of the micro-blogging platform.

Twitter should not lose its distinct flavour as a fantastic roll-down platform, simple yet effective tool for debates, hold meaningful conversations and help people make a social impact with their powerful dialogues.

For civil right crusaders, journalists, social activists and more such souls who aim to connect with people on burning societal issues, it has always been a tool to appraise powers-that-be of what is going on around them, and respond to world leaders who treat it as a "typewriter".

Twitter is no Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp or Facebook but a broad public forum, with troll armies aiming to disrupt the conversations, and the algorithms reining in, blocking or removing bots and fake accounts.

Twitter also serves no ads (except promoted tweets which are few and far between).

For those who are apolitical, this is a beautiful platform to connect people of similar mind-set. For those who are political, it is a bullfight arena.

This is what makes Twitter, Twitter.

According to Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group, CyberMedia Research (CMR), while Twitter says Fleets make it easier for people to share their thoughts, it is more like a derivative and lacks a specific purpose and use case.

"The business model for Twitter already provides its users with the ability to deliver snappy, byte-sized updates, perspectives and commentaries on their lives, and just about everything,".

He emphasised that what Fleets has done is to offer users with the ability to DM more, and in doing so, "pushing DMs that actually need the immediate attention of users".

Twitter has a larger duty to serve and should rather focus on not letting influential people post rubbish, hateful and racist content on its platform.

Like tweets, Fleets that disappear after 24 hours and have no retweets, likes or public comments, are based primarily on text, but people can include videos, GIFs or photos in them.

A Twitter user responded to Kayvon Beykpour who is Product Lead at Twitter with a Namaste: "This is one app that's the perfect balance of visuals and words as is. Please don't ruin it. Twitter doesn't need more visual features; build on your strength and don't blindly imitate".

"Don't be a copycat. You are perfect exactly as you are," commented another.

Advertisers and brands, however, will like this feature to send direct messages to the users.

"Brands would love this as a way to showcase their offerings, and would drive uptick in ad revenues. The DM is similar to Instagram and a bit jarring though can be improved to be more intuitive in how to respond to the fleets," said Neil Shah, VP Research at Counterpoint.

Does India really need a new mode of conversation within Twitter in Fleets? Or, is it more important to have the "edit" feature?