Twitter is launching a beta program for a select group of users to try out the new features before a full roll-out. Once in the program, users will download a separate beta app. The new design is aimed at making the platform more conversation-friendly.

The designs seem to show a growing shift from Twitter being a micro-blogging platform to a return to its origins as an SMS service.

Testers will not have a NDA, so they will be allowed to share their thoughts throughout the process of trying out the beta features. This is different than Twitter’s already existing experiment program where accepted users have to keep confidential.

Last year Twitter discussed fixing conversations on Twitter, suggesting features like availability notifications and “icebreakers”

The new beta features discussed to TechCrunch are aimed at making interaction on the platform easier. One new beta feature is color-coded replies to signify the original poster of a tweet, and people they follow and don’t follow. Also with replies, Twitter is trying algorithmically sorted responses to more easily follow threads you’re interested in reading.

Twitter is also testing a cleaner UI view that hides engagement icons like hearts until users tap on a post.



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