Have you ever thought, “I’m about to tweet, but that’s not enough self-expression. I need to tell the internet how I really feel?” If so, you’re in luck—maybe. As long as your true inner feelings align with the options in Twitter’s new status feature, which is currently in testing. The concept was hinted at in a leak earlier this year, but now has apparently come to fruition.
“For a limited time, we are testing a feature that allows you to add a status topic from a predetermined list to your Tweets to provide more context for your followers,” Twitter told Gizmodo in a statement. “So whether you are about to drop a hot Tweet thread, share your shower thoughts, or have a bad case of the Mondays, your Tweets can better convey what you are up to.” Yikes/Cringe.
The social media platform has been testing out and introducing all sorts of new, seemingly ill-advised features in recent months. From co-authored tweets to Circles. But status updates may be the most confusing addition.
This potential future feature lets users add an emoji and short phrase to posts. Currently, there are no custom statuses, only about 16 pre-set ones to choose from, according to screenshots posted on the site. For example, you could tweet out top tier content like “Ugh, more work deadlines” along with the “💤Case of the Mondays” status to embody the vibe of a literal water cooler. Or you could telegraph your “🍄Unpopular opinion” even louder.
This Gizmodo writer’s personal favorite option: the completely nondescript, extra-unnecessary, space-holder-style, feels-like-a-mistake: “✔️Current status.” Like, what does that even mean? Isn’t it self-explanatory that every tweet is inherently a declaration of one’s current status?
Twitter is just a site for people to paste and post links to articles they haven’t read, make “some personal news...” announcements, and ask the void things like “anyone else feeling nervous about the collapse of modern society???” What else could a status convey that people aren’t already sharing?
But I digress. Each tweet among test users can get its own status update and statuses are displayed below a user’s handle and above their actual post. A Twitter status is ephemeral (unlike, say Live Journal moods), accompanying only the tweet assigned to it, and then evaporating into the internet mist.
Nonetheless, even though it’s not exactly Live Journal moods, the status feature sure feels like a blast from the past. It’s reminiscent of an earlier online era when AOL instant messenger statuses, away messages, and Myspace reined. In a way, it’s so regressive it’s almost refreshing. Social media sites, Twitter included, have been trying so hard to imitate their current competitors (mostly TikTok). So why not take a look backwards to move forward?
“⚠️Spoiler alert” Maybe, “⚡Soon” we’ll all be “🌟Living the dream” if the status feature gets past testing and into everybody’s feed.