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Twitter spotted testing a feature that would let users set status updates

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The Twitter Inc. logo and signage is displayed on the facade of the company's headquarters in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013. The San Francisco-based company filed confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission through a process that will keep sales and profit data under wraps until shortly before a road show to market to investors Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
Image Credits: David Paul Morris (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Twitter has been spotted working on a feature that would allow users to set a status on their profiles and tweets. According to reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong, who searches the code of mobile apps to spot features and upcoming changes in development, the social media giant is working on a “set a status” feature that is currently codenamed “vibe.” It appears that users would not only have the option to set a profile-level status, but also be able to set a status for a specific tweet.

Screenshots posted by Wong show that a status update option would appear above the tweet composer box. Once you select the status button, you would see a prompt that asks: “What are you doing?” The screenshot displays generic pre-set statuses that you can select, including “Shopping grocery,” “Driving highway,” “Lurking Twitter” and “Studying for the final exam.”

It’s currently unknown if users would only be able to select pre-set statuses or if they would have the option to create custom ones. As noted by Wong, there may be issues related to spam if Twitter allows users to create custom statuses.

Wong isn’t the only reverse engineer who has spotted the feature in development. Alessandro Paluzzi, who also often finds unreleased features, has spotted Twitter working on a “vibes” status update feature. Paluzzi notes that the feature seems to be similar to Facebook’s “Feelings” and “Activities” status option, which lets users notify others of what they’re currently doing via pre-set updates, such as “Listening to music” or “Reading a book.”

When asked about the test, a spokesperson from Twitter told TechCrunch that the company doesn’t have anything to share on it at the moment.

The status feature could be a way for people on Twitter to let others know that they’re currently busy, out of the office, at a specific conference and more. Some Twitter users currently use their display names to indicate specific things, such as being out of office or on vacation. The status feature could be a way to indicate this in a clearer and less-cluttered way.

This isn’t the first time that Twitter has said to be testing a status-like feature. In 2018, Twitter was exploring the idea of a “presence indicator” that was designed to help users describe what they were currently doing, but the concept was never actually tested widely.

It’s unknown when or if Twitter will move the idea of status updates beyond the testing phase. If the social media giant does plan to release the feature, there will be questions about how statuses will be moderated if Twitter lets users create custom statuses.

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