Facebook is trying to be TikTok, but now, Twitter is bringing us back a little bit of Facebook (or LiveJournal or Myspace). Some users are reporting that they can now post Twitter statuses, which lets them tag posts like they're retro MySpace moods. Some of these statuses include “Spoiler alert,” “Shower thoughts,” “Picture of the day” and, for some reason, the very redundant “Current status.” Right now, users can't customize their status — you'll just have to choose from Twitter's existing list.
“For a limited time, we are testing a feature that allows you to add a status topic from a predetermined list to your Tweets to provide more context for your followers,” Twitter told TechCrunch. “So whether you are about to drop a hot Tweet thread, share your shower thoughts, or have a bad case of the Mondays, your Tweets can better convey what you are up to.”
Twitter confirmed that this test is running for a limited time with a select group in the U.S. and Australia but declined to comment on the size of the group.
These statuses, along with an accompanying emoji, appear underneath a tweeter's name, only applying to that one tweet. When you click on the status badge, you can see what other public posters have shared … but, at least at the start of the feature's test, it doesn't seem that these linked topics are moderated. We may or may not have accidentally encountered some unexpected NSFW material on our work computer under the status, “Case of the Mondays.” Not great!
Twitter has released all too many features this year. Some of them are actually pretty useful, like Twitter Circle, which lets you share select Tweets with a small audience, similar to Instagram's close friends story. It comes quite in handy if, for example, you use your Twitter for work but also want to shitpost to your actual friends about your Dungeons & Dragons character (too specific?). But status updates don't really have a clear use case. Sure, you can save a few characters by making your tweet's status “A thread” instead of typing out “A thread” and adding the string emoji. But it doesn't seem like something users are over the moon about, at least initially.
Some users are also confused because Twitter is testing so many features at once, but not all of them have fully rolled out. Collab tweets, Twitter Circle and downvoting (which first appeared last year) are all still testing.
Like other social platforms, just because Twitter is running a test doesn't mean that Twitter statuses will fully roll out. Usually, these limited experiments are designed to gauge user reaction. Now, we sit back and watch how this unfolds.