Speed Reads

what about a dislike button?

Twitter might hide its 'like' and 'retweet' metrics

Twitter wants to make some changes, and two of its most notable features, likes and retweets, could face the chopping block, Buzzfeed News reports.

The social media company recently released a public prototype called "twttr" to test out users' responses to the possible alterations, as the platform looks to repair what Buzzfeed News calls a "fundamentally broken" system. One of those possible changes is making engagement metrics invisible (though a simple tap would reveal them.) That's an idea long championed by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who reportedly thinks likes and retweets "encourage users to be outrageous" to enhance their own profiles.

Hiding those numbers, Twitter says, would put the primary focus on replies, so that the actual flow of the exchange doesn't get lost. Emphasizing the conversational aspect of Twitter would reportedly make it "easier to understand who is responding to what."

Senior product designer Lisa Ding told Buzzfeed News that the company wanted to see if users would choose to read things without having their interest levels skewed or if they would chime in on conversations in a different manner. But their removal prompted a mixed response from people who tried the prototype app. Users did appreciate the more egalitarian nature of the new design, but also said they couldn't always gauge the importance of a reply, leading to some confusion.

Whether metrics are ultimately hidden, Twitter is definitely going to revamp the design of its product. It will reportedly be a gradual process that will allow users to "mentally prepare" for the app's new look. Read more at Buzzfeed News.