Twitter is testing new labels for conversation threads

They're an evolution of the “original tweeter” tag.

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In a tweet today, Twitter announced that it's experimenting with new labels on conversation threads. The labels -- author, mention and follow -- are another attempt to make the platform more conversational and easier to follow. This may never move past the trial phase, but it's further proof that Twitter is bent on helping users make sense of threads.

A few months ago, Twitter tested an "original tweeter" label. The goal was to clarify who started a thread and to cut down on spam. Last month, software engineer Jane Manchun Wong discovered a prototype of a "subscribe to conversation" button that would allow users to follow a thread without liking or replying to it. These new labels seem to be an evolution of both of those features.

While this could be a useful way to prevent spam and add some clarity to jumbled threads, users expressed concerns that the labels will be distracting and unnecessary. Whether subscribers are ready or not, Twitter is determined to shake things up. In its experimental app, Twttr, the company is also toying with nested and color-coded replies. We'll have to wait to see which changes stick.

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