I mostly forgot Twitter was a thing. Fediverse/Mastodon is more interesting, blogs more in-depth, Discord & Slack more immediate. Google+ is shutting down, MeWe is still small and kinda weird, reddit's poison, but they're all more fun. I guess Twitter was a big deal once? Kind of like that Facebook thing I deleted? It's been weeks since I've seen a link to Twitter, and my feeds used to have so much t.co junk in them.
So, this beta app. The first and most obvious point, the color scheme and conversation UI. iMessage has set the standard of blue=secure Apple person, green=disreputable Android person (literally: no iMessage end-to-end encryption, could be anyone over insecure SMS). Here, it looks like (contrary to the text) white is randos, green is followees, blue is you. And it's upside-down, newest-bottom; this is a very common disorder, but I don't know why anyone does it. Oldest should always be at the bottom, newest at top, because that's how you blog/microblog, and you mostly want to see the newest posts in a conversation.
Tapping to display the star ("heart" as they call it now, well I'll tell you favstar was not favhearts) comes from the old Tweetie app they bought and killed to make their terrible apps. Removing it is typical flailing-around-without-ideas Twitter. Discord & Slack let you respond to any post with an emoji, which is clearly the coming thing. Micro.blog hasn't yet made this a silent interaction, but it's not uncommon to reply with just an emoji.
Pinned tweets, they already have that. Just checked, mine's still my favorite scotch review:
6 Apr 2011
Laphroaig Quarter Cask: Smells like ash & wet fields, tastes like the sweat off your girlfriend's boobs, feels like your first heartbreak.
Mastodon has pinned posts, but I don't use one, since the profile text and custom fields (just "Blog" for me) are long enough: @firstname.lastname@example.org
"a status update field (i.e. your availability, location, or what you are doing, as on IM).": Isn't that what Twitter is? The input field used to just say "What are you doing?" Admittedly, you can't spam your iTunes music to that, or you can but everyone will hate you. My AIM status was always an important but silent signal of what you could message me about. On Mastodon I often change my "real name" to show emoji of my current status, currently ☃️⌨️🖥, but it'd be even better as a custom field. Maybe I'll see about finding or writing a command-line utility for that this week.