Twitter has been notoriously slow at implementing changes to its platform, with one of its biggest developments of recent years being the shift from stars (favorites) to hearts (likes). But the past year has significantly changed how the entire population uses social media, and the need for our favorite platforms to keep up has never been more apparent.
In an interview with The Verge from March 2021, Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter’s head of consumer product, recently said that the social media giant is “reinventing itself,” and the slew of changes coming to the platform prove that this is not an overstatement. Here are a few important updates that will help you cut to the chase.
Social media has given us a deeper look into the lives of celebrities and influencers, and for the most part, it has been completely free of charge. But certain apps are proving that there is also money to be made by reserving some content for exclusive (i.e., paying) members. Twitter’s Super Followers feature hasn’t been given the green light quite yet, but a mockup from its site shows that influencers will be able to charge their audience for bonus tweets, community group access, newsletter subscriptions, and even a special badge for their profile.
During its Analyst Day presentation, Twitter announced a new feature to enable like-minded individuals to more easily connect. Just like Facebook Groups, which have been wildly successful, Twitter Communities will focus on a particular topic, and users can post tweets privately within these subsets. A mockup of the new feature shows a blank tweet where users can choose to share their tweet with everyone who follows them, or solely within their chosen Communities.
It was only a matter of time until Clubhouse started to entice some competition. Twitter’s take on the conversation-starter is called Spaces and shares many of the same features as the pioneer. The creator of a Space is the Host, and can invite up to 10 others to join the conversation by sending them an invitation. Unlike Clubhouse, though, Twitter Spaces are public, and anyone can join in as a listener. The new feature is also available to iOS and Android users alike.
In a company blog post from January, Twitter says it is making its platform “a better home for writers” with its acquisition of newsletter provider Revue. The service is available to anyone who wants to publish editorial newsletters and make money in the process. Email contacts can be imported through CSVs, MailChimp, or added manually, and writers can design the newsletter however they’d like. Although the service is free, Twitter will collect five percent of the revenue generated from paid subscriptions.
Twitter decided to sunset its Periscope iOS and Android apps as of March 31, citing “declining usage.” Twitter admitted in a blog post that the cut would have been made sooner had it not been for the events of 2020. For standard users, live broadcasts will now be done through Twitter Live. For brands, publishers, and creators, Media Studio will be the place to go.
Jessica is the Chief Digital Editor for CT Lab Global Media, the North American platform for IFA Berlin.