Xbox reverses course on controversial UI change

Xbox confirms that it is rolling back a planned user interface change to its consoles that would make posting to Twitter difficult.

xbox console changes

Microsoft is constantly evaluating ways to improve its Xbox brackets. This includes iterating on the operating system of the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S platforms and in particular its user interface. How Xbox gamers use the user interface can make a significant difference in terms of accessibility. However, sometimes these changes can go wrong and for suspicious reasons. A recent change that Xbox was testing has now been rolled back, for example, following a flurry of negative feedback from Xbox users online.


About two weeks ago, Microsoft released a version of the Xbox UI for its test flights. This update included, among other changes, a drastic change in how Xbox players interacted with Twitter. Users would no longer be able to directly share content, be it videos or screenshots, to their Twitter accounts. Instead, they should send their content to their phone or device and publish from there. No explanation was provided for the removal of the “Share to Twitter” feature.

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Xbox users’ frustrated response to the decision was understandable. Sharing media via Twitter is a quick way to not only share things with friends, but also put them in a place where they are accessible and can be shared with other places. If that wasn’t enough, it’s a feature that also comes on PlayStation and Nintendo platforms. Why Xbox would remove a standard feature on all devices is a question that has baffled fans.

The criticism, however, was strong enough to prompt Microsoft to make a quick turnaround. A new beta test flight update from Xbox confirms that the Twitter sharing change is reverted. There are no plans to change how Twitter sharing works on Xbox consoles at this time. No explanation was offered for the decision in the first place.

Although Microsoft didn’t explain why it removed the sharing feature from Twitter, there was a transparent reason for the decision. A new Twitter option has been added to Xbox’s frustrating Game DVR feature. In other words, Xbox wanted its console users to be forced to use Game DVR instead of having a way to directly share clips.

Forcing users to use Microsoft features for basic functionality isn’t an uncommon practice for the company, dating back to when Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was the default browser for Windows devices. Still, seeing a quick turnaround is a positive. It would be better if the change hadn’t happened at all, but at least Microsoft is listening to feedback from Xbox users.

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