Twitter's new Explore feature allows users to sort tweets based on interest

It eliminates the need for users to create Lists to read tweets without following handles.


Twitter is grappling with stagnant user growth for a few quarters now. It is doing several little-big things to its platform to attract, retain, and engage users. In its latest update, the micro-blogging site has rolled out an Explore tab that allows users to follow tweets based on their interest areas without having to follow those handles. This is similar to Instagram’s Explore tab, and throws up content based on the user’s tastes and preferences, frequent interactions, and so on. The update has released on both Android and iOS, Twitter confirmed to Buzzfeed News.

The Explore tab shows up in the Search panel and is in line with Twitter‘s efforts to improve the consumption experience for users. Last month, it had rolled out the mute feature, which allows users to mute specific words from their timeline. This attempts to check hateful, abusive content from surfacing on the timeline. Mute also allows gagging of specific user handles. With Explore, Twitter is making Lists nearly redundant. If you can sort topics of your interest and follow news of your choice through Explore, you would hardly be following Lists or even creating them. ALSO READ: Here’s how Twitter is helping users tackle online trolls

Earlier in the year, Twitter even tried filtering direct messages (DMs) by sending them to a Requests folder, that is similar to the ‘All’ messages folder on Facebook Messenger. It allows users who have open DMs on Twitter to review messages before taking part in the conversation. Senders are not able to see if you’ve viewed their message or not until you choose the ‘Accept’ button. You can also bar users from sending DMs by clicking on the ‘Block’ button. Instagram too has a similar feature for open DMs. ALSO READ: Twitter testing a new feature to report fake news, offensive content

Twitter has faced criticism from users across the globe for failing to put an end to abuse and trolling. Hordes of users come on the platform, use it briefly, and lose interest thereafter. There are over 1 billion inactive accounts on Twitter, and the Jack Dorsey-led company has desperately tried to fix it. However, Twitter’s user growth is falling rapidly. In the US, it has even de-grown as more innovative internet mediums like Snapchat and Instagram have taken over public consciousness. Twitter, in more than a decade of its existence, has 320-million-odd users. In contrast, Instagram Stories that is just a year old, has 250 million users already. In advertising revenue, Twitter’s being beaten hollow by Facebook and Google.

  • Published Date: August 21, 2017 6:08 PM IST