Twitter announced Tuesday that it is discontinuing CoTweeting, a feature that let two users co-author a tweet. The company said that the feature will immediately cease to exist. Users will be able to view the set of co-tweets for a month. After that, they will be automatically converted to retweets on the co-author’s profile.
“For the last several months we’ve been testing a new way to Tweet together using CoTweets. We’re sad to say that the current experiment is coming to an end,” the company said on the support page for CoTweets.
Twitter started testing CoTweets last July saying it wanted to learn how people use this feature to “strengthen their collaborations with other accounts.”
There might still be some hope for the feature to come back in another form. “We’re still looking for ways to implement this feature moving forward,” Twitter said.
While Twitter’s official reasoning behind shutting this feature down was generic, in a tweet Elon Musk said that the social network took the step “to focus on enabling writers to add essays as attachments to tweets.” It’s not immediately clear why it was a hindrance to writing.
Musk also added that next week, the social network is launching a beta version of its new Superfollows program, which will supposedly help creators publish directly on the platform and get paid for it.
Before Musk’s tenure at Twitter, the company had introduced a long-form writing program called Twitter Notes. But it was immediately axed under the new management. Over the last few months, Musk has hinted about introducing long text attachments.
In December, Twitter designer Andrea Conway also posted some concepts to indicate how long text might look like on the platform.
Here’s what the options above might look like.
PS. Designs are early and basic. There’s a lot more we want to do with longer form content on Twitter. This is one way we’re thinking about a first step. Having said that, all feedback is welcome, so let us know what you think! pic.twitter.com/XOzR433w7R
— Andrea Conway (@ehikian) December 6, 2022
In January, app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi posted a video showing that Twitter might curtail long posts at 280 characters with a “show more…” button at the end. If users click on it, the post will expand to show the full text. However, there is no confirmation that Twitter will stick to this implementation.
Overall, CoTweet’s demise is not entirely surprising. Musk & co. have slashed projects and features like ad-free articles, Twitter Notes, Twitter Toolbox for developers, Twitter Tiles (a new version of Twitter media cards), and very recently third-party Twitter clients.