Open source Twitter

Twitter began as an open protocol—a new form of messaging where you don't specify message recipients. It was incredible! But that utopian vision for online conversation was overshadowed by money from it's inception.

Twitter started as a corporation. It's had corporate incentives from day 1. —@jack (Co-Founder and Ex-CEO Twitter)

Twitter could have become the backbone for online chatter, allowing its users to freely exchange messages with people on other social media platforms instead of locking them into conversations among themselves.

It had the opportunity to become a protocol. The code was written, it worked, it was all based on open protocols. @Jack knows this, and it makes me sad that he still doesn't acknowledge it. It never shipped for the reasons Jack states, but Fred supported it at the time. —@blaine (Co-Founder Twitter)

Instead, the platform evolved to satisfy corporate interests: Twitter optimizes Twitter to make money, while you—the user—become the product and suffer.

Think about it.

Features that should be commonplace don't exist. You have very little control over your feed—there are only two sorting options: "Top" and "Latest". There are no filters for your feed, no offline support, no keyboard shortcuts, no multi-quoting, no multi-retweeting, no nested sorting whatsoever (e.g. for a tweet's replies or quote tweets or likes), and—most importantly—no transparency. No one knows how Twitter's "algorithm" works behind-the-scenes.

Twitter algorithm should be open source —@elonmusk (CEO Tesla and SpaceX but you knew that 🙃)

We're here to change that. We believe that we can create a more transparent, user-centric Twitter—one that's focused not on money, but on you. An OSS version of Twitter that is optimized to serve you, not a corporation or its investors.

We'll empower you in ways Twitter never will:

Tweetscape will be the must-have tool for "power users" of Twitter.

But the keyword there is will. We still have lots of work to do, which is why this weekly changelog exists.

This week, we focused on cloning Twitter's core functionality while improving it wherever possible. For example, in our Postgres database schema, references between tweets are represented by a single many-to-many relation table:

Refs many-to-many relation table definition

This relational model enables you to reference any number of tweets in a single tweet. You could, for example, quote three different tweets on the same topic to properly compare and contrast their related opinions.

And this is just the beginning. We're still waiting to hear from you—our community—to decide what to build next.

Fixes & Improvements