A blue line on Twitter connects tweets

This screen shot shows an experimental feature in Twitter's Android app that ties replies to the original tweet, apparently when a user follows both accounts. (Paresh Dave / Los Angeles Times / July 19, 2013)

Twitter is testing a new feature that ties replies to the original tweet using a thin, blue line.

The feature showed up on a version of Twitter’s Android app, which was updated Wednesday. The latest update also adds a new notification indicator on the big “@” sign in the app, alerting a user to how many reply, favorite and new-follower notifications they have.

Twitter declined comment. The company has previously said it frequently tests “hundreds of variations” of new features with “small groups of users” before deciding whether to release them for everyone.

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The thread feature, which appears to show up only when the user follows both the original poster and the person replying, definitely catches the eye. But Twitter might be better off putting a slightly different background color behind the reply and indenting it instead of using the line to show that a recent tweet is related to someone’s earlier tweet.

In one thread, there was a link that said there was additional replies. Clicking on the link took the user to the page featuring the original tweet at the top and all of the replies below it, similar to what’s available on a computer.

Creating these sort of Twitter threads could make feeds more digestible for users and spur them to jump into conversations and post more often.

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