Latest Twitter feature brings serious concerns

Onur Demirkol
Mar 20, 2023

Twitter is bringing more detailed stats visible to users as the company recently started showing bookmark counts of tweets to every iOS user. However, the information on who bookmarked the tweets is kept hidden.

"We love Bookmarks for saving Tweets to revisit later. Starting today on iOS, you'll now see the total number of times a Tweet has been bookmarked on Tweet details." tweeted the official support account.

After Elon Musk's acquisition of the company, Twitter rapidly started working on providing more data on every tweet. On top of the retweet and like counts, users can also see how many people viewed a specific tweet. Many users said that seeing these metrics below every tweet made their screens crowded and complicated, while some enjoyed seeing relevant data. With the latest addition, another metric has been added to the list. For now, it is only available for iOS users but is expected to launch for the web version and other platforms in the near future.

Regarding the privacy of users, "We'll never display which accounts have added a Tweet to their Bookmarks," the official account added. The Help Center article says: "Bookmarks are still private and are only viewable to you within your Twitter account. We only show the total number of Bookmarks, not the specific accounts that have added a Tweet to their Bookmarks." It is similar to viewer count as strangers can't see others' tweet metrics, apart from the overall number.

After Elon Musk's acquisition, Twitter started focusing on tweet stats, and the latest feature has brought another important stat counter.

Serious concerns over the new feature

The new feature raised concerns, particularly from women, as they have been surprised by how frequently their shared images of themselves have been bookmarked; here is an example by the Twitter user @jasminericegirl.

On the other hand, bookmarks could be useful for a creator or a company's account in terms of showing more data on how many users are interested in the content. Lately, informative threads on AI tools and such have become more famous, and people mostly find them useful. With the new bookmark count feature, users will see which thread the readers found useful the most, if they can't interpret that by looking at the retweet and like count.

Some users think that there are more important things to focus on, such as fixing major issues like the timeline auto-refresh bug, rather than bringing more features. Recently, the app also faced a major outage. All users were unable to load new tweets or refresh their home pages, and the issue appeared on both the website and the mobile app while the cause remained unclear.

If Twitter adds another stat feature underneath tweets, it might be even more complicated for many, while business accounts benefit from the data.

The company might face tougher competition in the upcoming months as more decentralized Twitter alternatives are on the way. Jack Dorsey's "Bluesky" has already surfaced and is expected to be available soon.


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