Twitter executives hosted a Periscope video livestream recently where they asked for advice on how to fix their platform and stated their wish to be the “most trusted service in the world.”
The Periscope livestream featured Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey alongside some other Twitter executives discussing the future of the platform. The livestream comes shortly after the company opened their site to suggestions from users on how to improve the platform with the aim of developing metrics to measure the health of conversation on Twitter. “Ultimately we want to have a measurement of how it affects the broader society and public health, but also individual health, as well,” Dorsey said during the livestream.
Dorsey stated that he believes the decision to increase Twitter’s character count from 140 characters to 280 has helped increase the health of conversations on the platform saying “I do think the more space we give people to think and be critical about what they see and express.” He continued, “that the more civil and civic these dialogues and debates become.”
The Twitter executives stated that although they compete with other online platforms such as Instagram and Reddit, they want to share any ideas on improving online discourse with those websites. “We want to make sure we’re sharing our findings back with the research community,” Dorsey said. “We don’t want to compete with a Facebook or an Instagram or a Reddit on solving this problem. We want to make sure that everything we find they can also utilize.” Dorsey further stated, “A lot of what we’re seeing is not just affecting us but affecting many folks and many services around the world.”
Rival social media platform Gab used Twitter’s own platform to claim that executives of the platform have no idea how to fix the platform, which has, in turn, led to them asking the public for help.
The topic of user verification also came up during the Periscope stream, with Dorsey stating that verification would soon be available to all users “The intention is to open verification to everyone,” said Dorsey. “To do it in a way that is scalable, so we are not in the way and people can verify for facts about themselves and we don’t have to be the judge and imply any bias on our part.” Twitter product director David Gasca added “Verification today has a number of problems but for the most part the main problem is we use it to mean ‘identity’ but because of the way it was originally started, were it was only given to very large public figures, celebrities, etc., it came to have a lot of status associated with it.” Gasca added: “We are doing a lot of exercises to reconsider how we can change the check mark and what the future could look like around that.”