Twitter de-emphasises follower count… by making the font 2px smaller…?

From The Verge:

Twitter has made follower counts appear less prominent on its iOS app by making the font size smaller in a new redesign effort, according to a Twitter spokesperson. The change comes after CEO Jack Dorsey repeatedly said that he wants to rethink how the company could prioritize “meaningful” conversations over numbers like retweets, likes, and follows.

I would absolutely love to know how much design time, discussions, debates, arguments and philosophy went into making this change.

Positioning this as a “de-emphasis” in any meaningful way seems quite a stretch to me.

The attention on followers and volume of attention is the product of a decade of social media’s push on attention, clicks, scrolls and feeds. We’ve been conditioned by years of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc to value audience size over quality of conversation.

Wanting to change this is admirable, but it’s going to take more than font sizes. It will mean changing the incentive structures of the products in ways that might hurt growth in the short-term… and that’s still going to be a tough row to hoe for these companies conditioned on growth at all costs.

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