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Twitter experiments with adding a ‘Quotes’ count to tweets

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Twitter wants to make it easier to see the conversations taking place around a tweet. This May, the company rolled out a change to its user interface that allowed users who clicked on the “Retweets” metric beneath a tweet to view both those Retweets with comments and those without all on one screen. But a new feature may soon make those retweets where discussions are happening even more visible to the end user. Twitter confirmed it’s experimenting with a new “Quotes” count on tweets. This engagement metric would sit alongside the tweet’s existing retweets and likes counts, which today appear beneath the tweet itself.

The feature has already shown up for some subset of Twitter users in recent days, where it has received mixed reviews. Some applauded the addition for helping to separate quotes from standard retweets, while others claimed the placement of the new metric was confusing because they’re used to seeing the Like count on the far right.

The social media news site Social Media Today first reported on the addition, citing social media consultant Matt Navarra’s tweet about the feature as a source.

Twitter confirmed to TechCrunch that what users are seeing now is still considered a test. In addition, the company isn’t yet set on using the word “Quotes” for the new feature, either. It’s also trying out language like “Quote Tweets,” they said.

“A few months ago, we made Retweets with Comments more visible when you tap to see Retweets on a Tweet so everyone could see the entire conversation,” a Twitter spokesperson told TechCrunch. “This is available to everyone. Now, we’re testing making Retweets with Comments accessible directly on the Tweet and new language — Quotes, Quote Tweets — to see if this makes them easier to access and more understandable,” they added.

Breaking out “Quotes” into its own section would make sense, given that referencing the Retweet count as “Retweets and comments” is a bit wordy.

In addition, the feature plays hand-in-hand with another recent change to the Twitter user interface. As of this month, Twitter now lets everyone limit direct replies to tweets, if desired. That means some tweets on the platform won’t be open for public conversations in the traditional sense, where people can respond directly to the poster.

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Instead, Twitter users can now choose to limit replies to just the people they follow or only those mentioned in a tweet. However, these tweets with limited replies can still be engaged with in other ways — including by retweeting them or by retweeting the tweet with a comment. That will take the resulting conversation to a different part of Twitter’s network, where it can then be discussed among other users. The only way to truly limit the audience for a tweet is to run a private Twitter account, which few choose to do.

Twitter’s confirmed tests with “Quotes” indicate the feature is moving forward with development.

Before the feature entered public testing, it had been discovered by reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong, who often finds new features within an app’s code before they go live.

Twitter is always experimenting with interface changes in the hope of enabling better conversations. But fundamentally, its concept of a “online town square” may be at fault for the chaos and unhealthy engagement that can take place on its platform. Its users’ worldviews are too divergent and internet culture itself is too intertwined with trolling to make any social media platform a place for thoughtful discourse.

TechCrunch

NEWS

Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

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But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

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One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

[embedded content]

Searchenginejournal.com

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