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Transcript: Twitter's Ev Williams Answers An Hour's Worth Of Questions, On Twitter

Talk about eating your own dogfood! Today, Twitter CEO Evan Williams took questions for an hour on Twitter, about Twitter, replying from his own account. What was he asked? Many questions about how the new Twitter works, from people who don’t yet have it. And if he likes cats (yes). I’ve compiled a transcript, below.

In a few cases, I’ve rewritten the questions very slightly to make them and the answer clearer. The answers are all verbatim. I wish I could link to all the original questions (and cite those who asked them), plus the answers, but it was simply too much work. Scroll through Ev’s account, and you can see all this directly, yourself.

I’ve also grouped questions on the same topic together, rather than listed questions as they were each asked. There was exactly one answer that I simply could not find the original question to, so that’s not included.

Questions About New Twitter

When’s the new Twitter rolling out to everyone?

We’re still only at small (but increasing!) % of people. Could be a few weeks for everyone. The account selection for #newTwitter is random and worldwide

How is the new Twitter being rolled out to users? Is it based on a random timeline, or by date of signup?

It’s random.

What’s the date that all users will have the #NEWTWITTER?

No specific date. Will be weeks, but we’re testing carefully to make sure it goes smoothly. Thanks.

Ashamed about promoting the new Twitter when not everyone can see it?

Not ashamed, no. Think about it like “coming to a theater near you.”

When will Boston area be getting #NewTwitter !!!

Depends on how the Patriots do this year. KIDDING! Soon.

When do we Swedes get the new awesome Twitter? 🙂

Some Swedes have it! It’s being rolled out worldwide randomly.

Are you following Google method of releasing your service to limited users initally..and then rollin out to larger base?????

All big services roll out incrementally. It’s necessary to make sure nothing horrible happens.

Will we just see the new Twitter, or do we need to accept an invitation or something?

You’ll see an option to check it out at the top of the page when you log in.

Are you secretly planning to nonrandomly give #NewTwitter to people that you respond to during #AskEv ? 🙂

We weren’t…. but nice idea. Maybe next time.

Will the new twitter allow more characters to by typed instead of the 140 limit?

Nope, sticking to good ol’ 140 for now. Thanks.

Twitter should be 160 characters like SMS

Where would we put the username?

Can you put more characters on a tweet please !!

You didn’t use even half of them for that one!

What is it about #newtwitter that has you most amped?

That’s hard to say. I love the speed and the details pane.

We’re rolling out slowly to make sure it works well. Thanks for your patience.

Will the new twitter let a locked user let me read their tweets if I’m only following them via a list?

No, because they wouldn’t have approved you.

Will layout <as shown in the video> work for lists also, or just the normal timeline?

yes, it works for lists, also

Will the new Twitter platform improve the user’s ability to manage and access followers or are 3rd party apps still necessary?

Yes, #newtwitter has a much better interface for viewing your followers and followings.

Can you make the #NewTwitter be able to view on Flock browser?

We’ll look into it.

Will Twitter be keeping the ‘old’ Twitter as a ‘Twitter classic’? Love the #NewTwitter, but feel both serve differently.

Eventually, “Twitter classic” will go away. Can’t keep up both.

What was the point in changing the design for Twitter? We have seen changes go down badly – this could be a potential bad move.

Change is often difficult, but we all must evolve. But we think you’ll like it.

Is it would be possible to deactivate the new twitter in order to have the old layout?

You can go to “leave preview” in the dropdown at top right (only during the preview).

Can u still use twitter background have there been any changes?

Yes, we went to a lot of work to make sure you can still use backgrounds. The layout has changed, though.

Will you be able to download the #NewTwitter on a mac?

You’ll be able to *use* #newtwitter on a Mac (like I am now), but you don’t have to download it.

The thing is that, it doesn’t work. And when I try to “leave the preview”, nothing happens. It doesn’t work, just that.

We’re looking into that issue. Try to make sure you’re on the latest version of your browser.

I’m having a problem with the New Twitter on my other acct, i can’t cancel and go back to normal twitter, its not working! Help!

This is an issue we know about. Try making sure you’re on the latest version of your browser.

Will we lose #newtwitter if we log out of it?

No, you won’t lose it.

How are you collecting feedback about #NewTwitter for implementation in future improvements?

We’re actively monitoring #NewTwitter. Just include that in your tweet about it.

Will the new twitter make it easier for my old man to use?

I don’t know your old man, but mine likes it better.

Isn’t the new Twitter a little bit more like Facebook?

I don’t get how that’s the case.

Questions About Blocking People

On Facebook we can’t block Mark Zuckerberg, can we block Evan Williams on Twitter?

You can totally block me. Block away.

Is the new version of twitter going to have the option of remove followers i dont want we only have block now

Block is the way you remove followers you don’t want.

Is there any way to prevent being on a list?

Yes, you can block the person who created the list.

Questions On Support For More Languages & Countries

When will we have Twitter translated into other languages?

Twitter.com is available in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Japanese today. More will come.

We will have the translation to Portuguese / Brazil? Brazil too uses Twitter

Yes, our mobile site is available in Portuguese. The non-mobile will be translated within a couple months.

Will there be translation systems in the future so that you can read tweets not in your native language?

It’s a good idea that we’re exploring.

Will new countries be available on Trending Topic?

No other countries yet, but we’ll be adding them worldwide.

Questions About Mobile & Desktop Apps

Is there going to be a “new” official app for Android as new Twitter rolls out?

We’re always looking to improve all our apps, and we have a team working on the Android app, but it’s a separate effort.

Will there be any changes or improvements to the Blackberry App?

We’re always working to improve all our apps. Blackberry will be improved, but not part of #newtwitter. Thanks.

Does the new twitter website spell the end for an official twitter client for mac (aka tweetie 2)

We have no plans for an “official” desktop clients.

Questions About Feature Wishes

Will the new twitter shorten URL addresses in the process of writing a tweet?

Not yet, but definitely something we want to add.

How about an option to remove the who to follow feature?

No plans to give option to remove. However, if you hit the X, the suggestions for you might get better.

Will we get real time updates in DMs or have any indication that we have new messages?

It’s something we’re thinking about. Thanks.

I hate these small info boxes which pop up when rolling over usernames, they don’t like to disappear

The “small info boxes” are not in #newtwitter. Hope you like the change (coming soon!).

Can we enforce SSL for our account yet?

Not yet. We have people looking into SSL.

Will multiple accounts ever be an option on web? Like quick switching between accounts?

We’re considering it.

When will you release inactive accounts?

We have a system in the works to release inactive accounts. You can ask @support for more details.

NOTE: See also Twitter May Release Some Deleted Usernames Within Weeks, our article from April, with more about this issue.

Any plans to show conversations between users in the details panel? I want to click a tweet and see the back’n’forth

Yes! we do plan to add conversations (back and forth). working on it now.

NOTE: See the end of this story for more about this issue.

Other Questions, Including Trivia

Twitter is growing and no stopping. My question: are you hiring for infrastructure support of remote office location? Seriously

We’re always hiring! Please check twitter.com/jobs and @jointheflock

Loved the twitter shirt in the #newtwitter video! Can we expect Twitter merch soon?

I don’t know. How much would you pay? 🙂

What do you think about cats?

Cats are great.

What’s the best website ever?


@jack is account number 12 at twitter. Who are #1 to #11??? strange he sould be #1.

Test accounts.

Speaking Of Conversations…

That’s all the questions. One of them asked about making it easier to track conversations. The new format actually made it pretty easy to find answers to specific questions in the conversation that Williams was having with users. For example:

The screenshot above shows how you can go to Ev’s account (or anyone’s account), click on a tweet and see any replies to it in the new right pane. That’s how I compiled this transcript.

Of course, sometimes it’s hard to track replies if people don’t do them using the reply button or answer someone by putting their name at the beginning of the tweet. It would also be nice to get a list of all the back-and-forth on a particular topic, which is what Williams said Twitter is working on.

My story from yesterday, Watching The Democrats & Republicans Go At It, Twitter-Style, goes into much more depth on the issue of tracking replies along with some conversation tracking tips.

More About New Twitter

Want to learn more about Twitter’s new design? Check out our The New Twitter & Search, An Illustrated Guide story, which shows how the new Twitter works, from a search perspective.

Also be sure to see Twitter’s Meet The New Twitter.com page, which includes a video and information about the rollout and new features. The official Twitter Help Center also has lots and lots of good information, for those trying to understand more about how Twitter works.

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