X Media™ Company

X’s New Swipe to Respond Functionality is Coming, Replacing the Current Action Buttons on Posts

X (formerly Twitter) continues to move towards a more minimalistic, simplified UI, which will eventually see the removal of reply, like and re-share buttons from the posts in the main feed, replacing them with new action controls instead.

Which will look something like this:

While the current action buttons are still displayed in this example, shared by @ aaronp613 on X, you can see how the new side-swiping post response functionality will work.

The current overview of the new UI, as previewed by Musk last month, is:

  • Swipe right to reply
  • Swipe left to Like
  • Tap and hold for all other actions

And that will also, eventually, include the removal of the current action buttons, which Musk believes will make the main feed “very clean”.

Musk has been talking about this plan for some time, with his view for X being a more stripped-down version of the current display.

X actually kicked this off last October, with the removal of headlines and snippets from link previews, paring them back to just an image with a URL indicator in the feed. X reversed course on that slightly a month later, by re-implementing headlines overlaid on the image. But Elon believes that a more basic design will improve the aesthetics of the app.

Which could be a personal preference, but when you own the app, your preference is what matters, I guess.

The updated format, which has no release date as yet, could eventually become a more intuitive way to interact within the app, though it will take time, while the removal of action buttons is also likely to result in a reduction of overall user activity.

For example, back in 2020, in the lead-up to the U.S. election, Twitter removed the option to retweet a post entirely for U.S. users, referring people to quote tweet instead, as part of a broader effort to combat the amplification of false reports. Which worked, with Twitter later reporting that it helped to reduce the spread of false claims, though it also caused a 20% reduction in tweet sharing overall.

Based on this, it could actually be a beneficial change in some respects, by adding a little extra friction to retweets, as opposed to simply tapping a button to further amplify a post in-stream. But it will also reduce X’s usage metrics, which could impact overall platform sentiment.

It’s impossible to say, at this stage, whether it will be a beneficial move in the longer term, though it will definitely take some getting used to.

I suspect that X will look to implement the swipe-to-respond functionality while keeping the action buttons at first, as a means to better integrate the option, before it looks to eliminate the in-stream options entirely.

Either way, some more interesting changes coming to the app.  

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