Twitter might ask again, ‘What are you doing?’

Twitter has changed a lot in recent years, and especially more recently with a subscription service, Spaces, and the ability to delete subscribers. Some might say the social media platform is virtually unrecognizable from the platform they first joined in 2006.

Actually, I could say that, but now Twitter is, according to Tech Blogger and Code Sleuth Jane Manchin Wonga new feature that brings me back to my first Tweet from March 19, 2007.

Named “Vibe,” the “Set Status” feature would allow you to show followers what you’re up to right now.

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In the captured function screen, there is a “What are you doing?” prompt with a drop-down list of options such as “Driving on the highway”, “Running errands”, and “Hidden Twitter”.

It may appear with your profile, maybe even above your tweets. Wong compares it to what Instagram Threads does with “Status.”

However, I see it differently.

When Twitter was launched in 2006, the idea was to let followers (usually colleagues, colleagues, friends) know what you were up to at any given time.

The service’s slogan at the time was pretty clear: “A global community of friends and strangers answering one simple question: what do you do?”

Twitter in 2006

(Image credit: future)

The last sentence appears in bright yellow as if Twitter had run a highlighter over it.

That’s right. The wording is exactly the same.

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Fifteen years ago, I had no idea how to use Twitter, so I followed the platform’s instructions and simply listed what I was doing: “Listen to TWiT. Eat a bagel. Drink my coffee. Type this note.”

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It was no doubt a terrible post, but it answered the question, “What are you doing?”

The Twitter of 2022 is, of course, a much different beast. He asks “What’s going on?” It’s a place to post your thoughts, explore ideas, discuss and share a wide range of information, photos, videos and audio. It is a media platform.

Twitter, perhaps feeling it’s moved the oceans away from its original intent, thinks a mere hint of the past — of its roots — could make Twitter more engaging, fun, and less serious.

Instead of an angry tweet about the latest political debate or a pitched battle between Android and iOS, it could be an old-fashioned status update, stating that the Twitter member is driving, walk or eat a bagel.

I have no idea if Twitter is fully considering rolling out “Set Status” (I’ve asked Twitter directly and am awaiting a response”), but I think they could use this nostalgic feature, especially that it faces the prospect of a new owner (Hi, Elon Musk!) and perhaps some significant changes that could, once again, change the face of the venerable platform.

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