Facebook tests Twitter-inspired “discussion threads”

(Photo: Mateusz Slodkowski / SOPA Images / LightRocket)

Facebook is testing a Twitter-like “thread” feature that allows users to post connected messages.

First spotted by a social media consultant Matt Navarre and social media strategist Valon Kerolli, the beta functionality is currently being tested with a small group of “public figures”, Facebook told TechCrunch.

Based on screenshots from Kerolli and Navarra, the social network adds a “more” button below the like / comment / share bar, prompting people to “add another post to create a thread”. A similar message also appears above user timelines, sandwiched between the status update box and the stories.

“Now you can add another post to any previous one to create a thread,” a Facebook pop-up explains. “All posts in a thread will have the same audience as the first post.” Much like Twitter, linked posts are delimited by a thin gray line connecting profile photos. Visitors, on the other hand, can look for a “View Thread” button to see all of the thread’s posts in one place.

Facebook did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment and was unable to confirm to TechCrunch when (or if) this test will ultimately roll out to the public. Considering the maximum length of a Facebook post (around 225 tweets), it’s likely that this feature is geared towards live comments or used as an easier way to update posts without changing the original.

Popularized by Twitter, discussion threads are a series of connected posts from one person, providing context, updates, and additional characters to get a broad point of view. The microblogging platform last year introduced spun responses for easier entry into conversations, only to drop them after less than a year. Turns out, the new design made it harder to read and talk.

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