Twitter is now testing a vertical scrolling feed in the Explore tab on its mobile apps. This feature takes inspiration from TikTok, joining a long list of apps to do so. However, the feature is only available for a handful of users in India at the moment.
“Available to some of you who use Twitter in English and are on the latest version of Android or iOS,” the @TwitterIndia said (via). Shortly after, tech journalist Matt Navara posted a video showing how the feature works.
Twitter didn’t specify if the feature will be opt-in for customers
The refreshed user interface removes the COVID-19, News, Sports, and Entertainment tabs, keeping only the “For you” and “Trending” tabs. This allows for a clutter-free user experience, though it’s unclear if this is an opt-in feature. Twitter said it is testing the feature among Android and iOS customers.
Twitter is testing a NEW Explore Tab 🔎
TikTok-style vertical scrolling FTW pic.twitter.com/KB2goa8ItA
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) December 8, 2021
The borrowing of TikTok’s features is illustrative of the platform’s impact on social media sites. Meta (known as Facebook back then) borrowed TikTok’s core premise with Instagram Reels last year. So it’s only fair that Twitter also wants to get in on the action.
Since Twitter is only testing this feature right now, it’s unclear if it will ever see a broader expansion. But given the bevy of changes we’ve seen on Twitter over the past several months, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if vertical scrolling becomes a standard feature on the platform.
Twitter doubled the character count for tweets from 140 to 280 around four years ago. However, reports later found that this had little to no impact on the users, as most of the tweets sent after the announcement were well under 140 characters.
More recently, the company took the wraps off Twitter Blue, a subscription service with “enhanced and complementary features” in addition to the regular Twitter features. One of the prominent features of the service is the ability to undo or recall tweets. This is achieved with the help of a 30-second timer to fix typos or any other errors in the tweet. Though Twitter Blue was initially limited to iOS users, it gained support for Android devices in November.
Another handy perk with Twitter Blue is ad-free articles from renowned publications. Supported articles will include an “Ad-free with Twitter Blue” badge next to them, the company said. Participating publications include The Washington Post, L.A. Times, USA TODAY, The Atlantic, Reuters, etc.