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16 junio 2020

Bringing @Twitter's DMs into Android 11’s Conversation API

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This blogpost is a collaboration between Google and Twitter. Authored by Aaron Labiaga with support from Fred Lohner, Suzanne Xie, and Alex Ackerman-Greenberg from Twitter.

Direct Messages for the conversation space

Twitter is a social media app and source for what's happening in the world. And with Android 11’s Conversation APIs, surfacing Twitter’s Direct Messages to the conversation space makes perfect sense as it features real people talking in real time bidirectional conversations.

Conversation Notification API

To surface notifications in the conversation space, developers need to use Messaging style notifications set with a published long-lived shortcut ID. The shortcut ID allows for surfacing the conversation throughout various surfaces in the UI, including as a shortcut in the launcher. For details and sample code on how this is done, please see the conversation API guidelines.

A Q&A with the Twitter team

Frederik Lohner, tech lead of Twitter’s notifications team and Suzanne Xie, Product Management Director for Conversations on Twitter, share their experience with the migration and future prospect of its impact:

How was the migration to messaging style notifications, the technical scope and its impact on codebase?

Due to legacy reasons we first had to migrate to use MessagingStyle notifications for our DM pushes. This offered a great opportunity to clean up a bunch of technical debt, whilst allowing us the opportunity to begin testing things like auto generated replies for notifications with very little additional work on our side.

Were there any challenges in the implementation of shortcuts? As it is a requirement for the conversation space.

We found it challenging to manage the max number of published dynamic shortcuts since there is a limited number, requiring us to manually remove older shortcuts as new ones were created. The first Developer Preview didn't include a great way for managing shortcuts but this changed in Developer Preview 2, with the addition of the pushDynamicShortcut method that handled the limit for you.The addition of this method is a testament to the importance of exploring the APIs in the early stages and the impact one can have on shaping the API through testing and feedback.

What do think is the future prospect on the impact of migration, e.g. more engagement given visibility of DMs in conversation space?

We think these changes will make DM's much easier to use and look forward to getting feedback from our users. The conversation space also fits the purpose of DMs and it is important that these messages are categorized in the right space.

A people-centric experience in Android 11

Android 11 reimagines the way we have conversations on our phones, building an OS that can recognize and prioritize the most important people in your life. If your application has any notion of messaging between people then consider following the guidelines in the Android developer docs to ensure that you're taking advantage of the new conversation space. We’re excited to work with developers like Twitter to help showcase the importance of a people-centric experience on mobile phones with Android 11.