Changes on Twitter
Twitter has been spending the past year building and testing new features with the goal of increasing daily active usage on the platform. Today, we’ll be breaking down some of the latest Twitter updates.
Example of Twitter Spaces via Twitter
Similar to Clubhouse, Spaces are public and are able to be accessed by anybody, including non-Twitter users. However, the host controls who is allowed to speak. If your account is private, you are not able to create a Space, but if they were to join and speak in a public Space, their account would be shown to the attendees.
Spaces does have some interesting features, like live captioning and ticketed Spaces. While the caption feature gives them a leg up against Clubhouse, users have noted that the captions are clunky at best. Because they are AI-generated, there are frequent typos or incorrect words used, as well as spacing issues. The captions also move quickly, making it difficult for people to keep up.
Spaces is still growing, and Twitter encourages anyone with feedback to reach out to them. You can listen, speak, and join a Space on Twitter for iOS and Android, but you can only listen on a web browser.
If you’re interested in using Spaces, you can explore Twitter’s Spaces Instructions and FAQs.
Earlier this month, Twitter began testing Communities, where you can “talk about your thing with people who get you!” The goal of Communities it to help users connect with people with similar interests and create more intimate spaces for online conversation.
A Community is “for a focused conversation” about a certain shared interest created and managed by a moderator. Similar to Facebook Pages and Subreddits, the Community has rules and users can invite people to join the Community. Examples include #DogTwitter, #SkincareTwitter, and #SoleFood (for sneaker collectors). Users can join Communities and tweet directly to that group. Community pages and timelines are public, so anyone can read, Quote Tweet, or report regardless of if they are a member of the Community.
Currently, the privilege to create Communities is limited, but Twitter promises to allow more users to create and moderate in the coming months. It is currently being tested only on iOS and web browser. You can learn more about Communities on Twitter’s website.
Super Follows allow users to pay creators for special content. Followers pay a monthly subscription fee to have access to special pay-walled Tweets. The intention is to create an extra level of conversation and connection between people on Twitter, while also providing content creators with a monthly revenue stream. Users can set prices of $2.99, $4.99, or $9.99 a month.
Super Follow Example via Twitter
Super Follows is currently only available on select accounts in the United States and Canada on iOS. To learn more about Super Follows, visit Twitter’s Super Follows Guide and FAQ page.
Twitter acquired Revue, a newsletter service for writers similar to Substack, at the beginning of 2021. At the beginning of September, Revue was made available to all users. Followers can easily subscribe to writers’ newsletters from their Twitter profiles. Writers can charge subscription fees for subscribers or can have the newsletter available for free.
While this may be a great gain for writers who have a strong following on Twitter, they will only gain access to their followers’ Twitter-affiliated email address, which as we know could be one they don’t use often. With email newsletters being a way for writers to truly own their audiences, Revue doesn’t seem like the smartest place to host your newsletter.
You can learn more about Revue on Twitter’s Revue Guide and FAQ Page.
Earlier in September, Twitter introduced a new feature to allow “good bot” accounts to add a label to their profile identifying them as such. “Good bot” accounts include accounts that tweet the weather, retweet news headlines, or, as was seen in New York, help people get COVID-19 vaccine appointments. This feature would not be used to identify “bad bot” accounts, like accounts that are pretending to be other people or were bought to increase follower counts.
This feature is currently only available to 500 Developer Accounts, so it is not required for automated bot accounts to have this label yet.
Example of Twitter Bot Label via Twitter
However, not all new changes at Twitter have stayed. Twitter introduced Fleets last November. Fleets was used for “sharing fleeting thoughts.” They would disappear after 24 hours and were only replyable through DMs, similar to Snapchat and Instagram Stories.
Example of Twitter Fleets via Twitter
However, at the beginning of August, Twitter removed the Fleets feature. Twitter wanted Fleets to be a way where people who were anxious to post a larger Tweet could post an unpolished thought but noticed that it was mainly being utilized to draw more attention to Tweets. Twitter said in their announcement, “We’ll explore more ways to address what holds people back from participating on Twitter. And for the people who already are Tweeting, we’re focused on making this better for you.”
In the Pipeline
Twitter is considering adding a feature that would let users limited tweets to “Trusted Friends,” similar to the Close Friends feature on Instagram. This is easy to confuse with the other feature in development, Twitter Facets, which would allow users to have different personas for each Facet. For example, you would no longer need a profile as a professional marketer and a profile as a football fan, you could just switch Facets.
Twitter Facets Concept Image
While we are excited and curious to see how Twitter changes, and how these new services can help our clients, we are still anxiously awaiting the edit Tweet feature!