Twitter reportedly meets with TikTok about a combination, tests new feature for counting "Quotes"

Twitter reportedly meets with TikTok about a combination; tests new feature for counting "Quotes"
People who make their way around Twitter know a way that they can see if the Twitterverse hates a particular tweet. It's called getting ratio'd. It's quite simple really; if the number of replies vastly outnumbers a tweet's likes and retweets, it means that the content of that tweet is disliked by Twitter subscribers. The messaging app recently tested changing some of the terminology associated with the app and also made it easier to figure out a particular tweet's ratio.

According to The Verge, during the test, retweets with comments was called Quotes. In an email sent to The Verge, a Twitter spokesman said, "A few months ago, we’ve made Retweets with Comments more visible when you tap to see Retweets on a Tweet. This is available to everyone. Now, we’re testing making Retweets with Comments accessible directly on the Tweet and new language (Quotes) to see if this makes them easier to access and more understandable."

Back in May, Twitter tested a Retweets with comments counter on some iOS devices. But now, the new test adds the Quote counter to the stats on the bottom of a tweet.

Twitter, like most social media sites, has been under attack for the polarizing and baiting comments left by many users. Twitter said in the past that it wants to add features to its UI to improve conversations between users.

Speaking of Twitter, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that it has had preliminary discussions with TikTok about a potential combination. The short-form video app has until the middle of next month to find a partner willing to take the U.S. operations of the app off the hands of its parent firm ByteDancer. That's because the latter is a Chinese tech firm which automatically raises suspicions by the U.S. government. An executive order signed by the president last week calls the company a threat to national security and notes that being owned by a Chinese firm means that it is potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage."

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Microsoft is seen as the leading candidate to take over the U.S. operations of TikTok and has the wherewithal to make such a purchase which could cost the software giant tens of billions of dollars. It isn't clear how Twitter would be able to finance any deal. The company's stock market capitalization is approximately $29 billion compared to Microsoft's $1.6 trillion valuation. As of June, Twitter had $7.8 billion in cash and securities compared to $136 billion for Microsoft. TikTok has been installed over two billion times from both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Globally, TikTok has 800 million active users with 100 million in the states. During the pandemic, TikTok gave teens, pre-teens, and even parents stuck inside a chance to release some steam by producing 15-second or 60-second videos. Typical content includes lip-syncing, dancing, playing comedic pranks, and more.

Twitter once ran an app that was somewhat similar to TikTok. Vine was developed in 2012 and was purchased by Twitter during the following year; the app allowed users to create video clips lasting six or seven seconds and content was shared over Facebook and Twitter. In 2016, Instagram Video was launched allowing users to record longer 15-second clips and many Vine users started to move on to Instagram, Snapchat, and other apps. Vine hung around in various forms with the last iteration of an app using the Vine name closed in 2019.

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