Another day, another tweak to the Twitter service intended to bring more users into the conversation.
This time it’s the “what’s happening?” box familiar to all users of Twitter.com. Previously located on the left hand side, between your profile box and the list of trends, this box — the main method of tweeting on Twitter.com — has moved to the top of your timeline. Like this:
If the location looks familiar, that’s because it’s exactly the same as the location of Facebook’s status question at the top of its news feed. Facebook’s question: “What’s on your mind?”
Twitter’s question changed in 2009, prior to which the status box asked: “What are you doing?” CEO Dick Costolo has pointed out many times that users tended to respond: “Well, I’m looking at Twitter.”
The company didn’t think the change worth a blog post, and hasn’t returned our request for comment on whether this is the result of any kind of testing that suggests such a set-up would encourage more users to tweet. (Around 50% of Twitter users are simply lurking on the service, reading tweets rather than diving into the conversation pit.)
Twitter did post this tweet alerting users to the change:
Naturally, not all users were happy with the result.
Still, the phrase “What’s Happening” was briefly a top Twitter trend — and naturally, an opportunity for the service’s greatest wits to strut their stuff.
As fate would have it, that was the question being asked at the top of my feed earlier Wednesday, albeit briefly and unintentionally:
By Chris Taylor