Twitter will begin a public test of new features in the coming weeks

A few months ago, Twitter announced that it had begun testing new features to promote healthy conversations on the platform. Now, these changes will be rolling out to a test group of users in the coming weeks, according to Engadget.

Twitter first demonstrated these features to The Verge in October. Presence indicators that show when a user is online and “ice breaker” tweets to promote discussion are among the changes that Twitter is planning to test. Slack-like status updates that appear next to user avatars also look like they will be included in the public test.

All of these changes are part of Twitter’s initiative to help foster positive interactions among users and cut down on hate speech and abuse on the platform. The changes won’t address the harassment directly, but they could work to provide further context about users to promote friendlier interactions.

It’s unclear exactly when the public test will begin, but anyone will be able to apply, the company announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Not every user who applies will be accepted, nor will everyone in the test be able to try out all of the new features. Engadget reported that only a “few thousand” of those applicants will be allowed into the program. Those who are accepted will be able to discuss the features they’re testing in real time with their followers. Twitter says it will gather feedback on the new features before deciding whether to roll them out more broadly.

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