Twitter’s monetizable daily active users grew 13% year-over-year to 211 million in Q3 2021. To summarise some of the biggest updates- Twitter introduced new ways to have conversations and earn money on Twitter, and continued their work to keep Twitter safe and inclusive. They shipped a lot of product updates and features, and tested ways to make it easier for people to join and follow conversations, evaluating what worked and what didn’t.
Twitter said goodbye to Fleets and Periscope and used the insights gained from each of these products to find new ways to serve the public conversation. Twitter also introduced a new way to have live audio conversations on Twitter through Twitter Spaces.
Below is the list of key features Twitter has rolled out this year.
Find your tribe on Twitter (Sep 2021)
The microblogging platform started testing Communities on Twitter to connect people who care and want to talk about the same things, whether it’s about favorite skincare products, formula one, or #astrology. When you join a Community, you can Tweet directly to that group instead of to all your followers. Only members in the same Community are able to reply and join a conversation, and Communities are managed by moderators. So far there are hundreds of Communities available and Twitter expects to continue to grow the number of Communities once they introduce public Community creation in 2022.
Available on Twitter for iOS and Web globally, the team is working to launch Android app functionality before the end of the year and along with expanding communities to more people spanning even more interests, is working to add many more features and improvements to the product.
Twitter smarter, Twitter harder (Jun 2021)
After taking feedback from Twitter users, that the platform is not putting efforts in building power features that meet the user needs, Twitter started testing a special subscription service: Twitter Blue.
Twitter Blue gives people access to exclusive features and perks that will take their experience on Twitter to the next level. And if you’re wondering, a free Twitter is not going away and never will; this subscription offering is meant to add enhanced and complementary features to the already existing Twitter experience for those who want it. Some of the perks include Ad-free Articles, Top Articles, Bookmark Folders, Undo Tweet, and Reader Mode.
Let’s talk anytime, anywhere (May 2021)
Twitter Spaces was introduced for live audio conversations on Twitter. Twitter found that hearing people’s voices brings conversations on Twitter to life in a completely new way, adding a layer of empathy and connection. Spaces encourage and unlocks real, open conversations on Twitter with the authenticity and nuance only the human voice can bring. Twitter has been consistently rolling out new features for Spaces this year, adding several improvements to the product. For example, hosts can schedule Spaces, record Spaces they create for replay, and the platform started testing a Spaces tab to help people find conversations they might be interested in joining. So far, millions of people have tuned into Spaces all over the world.
Available on Twitter for iOS, Android and web globally
Supporting creators on Twitter
Get the inside-access to your favourite creators (Sep 2021)
Super Follows gives creators the opportunity to earn monthly revenue by sharing Tweets meant only for paying subscribers. With Super Follows, people can create an extra level of conversation on Twitter and interact authentically with their most engaged followers — all while earning money — through a monthly subscription.
Only available on Twitter for iOS for a select set of US creators, though anyone globally can Super Follow those creators. Apply for the waitlist by navigating to Monetization > Super Follows in the sidebar of your Twitter for iOS app.
Making Twitter a better place for writers (Aug 2021)
Writers are central to the conversation on Twitter. They use Twitter to share their work, spark meaningful conversation and build a loyal following. With an objective to be the home for writers, Twitter is offering them new ways to create, share and monetise their content, and importantly, help them grow and better connect with their audience. Earlier this year, Twitter acquired Revue, a service that makes it free and easy for anyone to start and publish editorial newsletters, to accelerate our work to support all types of writers and a way to monetize their audience. In August, Twitter has launched a way for newsletter creators to add a subscribe button directly on their Twitter Profiles.
Available on Twitter for iOS and Android. The subscribe button is only available for a test group on Android and web.
Host your own event on Spaces (Jun 2021)
You’ve heard of Twitter Spaces, but have you heard of Ticketed Spaces? Ticketed Spaces are a way to support creators on Twitter for their time and effort in hosting, speaking, and moderating great live audio conversations. Creators can earn a share of the revenue from tickets purchased by audiences to attend exclusive Spaces, whether it’s a workshop, meet-and-greet with their most loyal fans or even a concert!
Available on Twitter for iOS and Android for a select set of US creators, and expected to expand to other markets in the coming year.
Show your $upport with Tip$ (May 2021)
Twitter created Tipsas an easy way to support the user’s favourite voices on Twitter, allowing people to receive and show support with money. Twitter takes no cut, and payments are facilitated through third-party services like PayPal, Patreon, Razorpay, and more. People can choose to add Tips to their profile through their account settings. In September the platform also added alternative payment services to Tips – and allowed people to pay each other through Bitcoin using Strike, a payments application built on the Bitcoin Lightning Network, so people can send and receive Bitcoin Tips free and instantly. Twitter is constantly evaluating new payment services to add to Tips to make it even more accessible and convenient for people around the world.
Available globally on Twitter for iOS and Android.
Ensuring conversations stay healthy and inclusive
Safety Mode (Sep 2021)
Safety Mode is a feature Twitter is testing with a small group of people including female journalists and people from marginalised communities to better protect the individual on the receiving end of Tweets by reducing the prevalence and visibility of harmful remarks. Safety Mode temporarily auto-block accounts that respond to your Tweets with potentially harmful language — such as insults or hateful remarks — or those that send repetitive and uninvited replies or mentions.
Testing on Twitter for iOS and Android with a select set of users with English-language settings enabled.
Choose who follows you (Sep 2021)
After taking into consideration on people’s feedback that they wanted more control over their timelines and their followers. This year, Twitter rolled out a feature to help you curate your own follower list. Without directly Blocking someone, any person can go in, tap through to their list of Followers and actively remove that person from following them.
Available globally on Twitter for the web.
Improving media on Twitter (Sep 2021)
Twitter upgraded the quality of photos and videos posted to Twitter, and began testing edge-to-edge Tweets so the user’s photos, GIFs, and videos can have more room to shine. What’s more, the user can share their Tweets to Instagram and YouTube, to give people even more ways to express themselves.
Testing on Twitter for iOS and Android.
Bringing more reliable context to conversations (Aug 2021)
To build on the Curation team’s ongoing work to surface credible information on Twitter, Twitter began to work with The Associated Press (AP) and Reuters to expand their efforts to identify and elevate credible information on Twitter.
Available on Twitter for iOS and Android for English-language content in US, UK and India.
New and Improved Misinfo Labels (Jul 2021)
Twitter has rolled out redesigned misinformation labels to help people more easily know when a Tweet’s content is potentially misleading. These labels will appear with color-coded backgrounds, making them much more visible in the feed while giving people a way to quickly parse the information from visual cues. Twitter found that even tiny shifts in design could impact how people interact with labeled tweets, with more people clicking into the new labels for additional context, and fewer people Retweeting or liking potentially misleading Tweets with those labels.
Available on Twitter for most people globally.
Your Tweets = Your Space (Jul 2021)
To give people more control over the convos they start, Twitter rolled out a Conversation Settings update to allow people to “Change who can reply” to a Tweet midway through a conversation. The team has learned Conversation Settings help some people feel safer by limiting these unwanted replies so they can participate in more meaningful conversations, while still allowing people to see different points of view.
Available on Twitter for iOS, Android and web globally.
One step closer to an inclusive internet (Jun 2021)
Twitter has launched a new language setting that acknowledges and better supports the Arabic feminine form. People who select this setting will be addressed in the feminine form, for example, “Tweet” will be غرّدي (which addresses women) rather than the default Arabic today, which is غرّد (addressing men).
Available on Twitter for web.
Say goodbye to auto-crop (May 2021)
After successful testing, Twitter rolled out improvements to how images appear on your Home timeline. This work is a direct result of the feedback people shared with Twitter last year that the way the algorithm cropped images wasn’t equitable. Now, Tweets that include a single, standard aspect ratio image appear uncropped. Tweet authors are also able to see a preview of what the image will look like in the Tweet composer tool before it’s posted. This was a first step of their larger plan to improve media on Twitter, so that people can share and see content in its original intended form, and have more flexibility and control over how their photos appear on their timeline. Bye auto-crop!
Available globally on Twitter for iOs, Android and the web.
New ways to identify accounts on Twitter (May 2021)
Twitter wants to make it easier for everyone on the platform to know who they’re interacting with. One way to do that for notable & authentic accounts is through the blue verified badge. This year, Twitter rolled out their new verification application and began once again reviewing public applications for the blue check mark. Eligibility criteria is more transparent thanks to their new policy that was largely shaped by public feedback. Verification is just one way to identify yourself on Twitter, but the platform also started to roll out account labels to allow accounts to self-identify – beginning with good bots (or automated accounts). Good bots help people find useful, entertaining, and relevant information every day – from sharing art masterpieces, to notifying people of earthquakes, to even just reminding the user to get some fresh air #selfcare.
Twitter is planning to launch more account labels in 2022, such as for memorial accounts.
Rolling out to people globally on Twitter for iOS, Android, and web.
Tweeting with consideration (May 2021)
In 2020, Twitter tested prompts to encourage people to pause and reconsider a potentially harmful or offensive reply before pressing send. These tests showed them that if prompted, 34% of people revised their initial reply or decided not to send their reply at all. It also showed them that after being prompted once, people composed, on average, 11% fewer offensive replies in the future. This year, Twitter made a range of new improvements to these prompts, including considering the relationship between the author and the replier, and how often they interact, as well as improvements to the technology to more accurately detect strong language, including profanity.
A community-based approach to misinformation (Jan 2021)
Twitter also launched Birdwatch to empower people on Twitter to collaboratively add helpful notes to Tweets that may be misleading. People in the pilot are able to publicly offer helpful context on Tweets that they believe contain misleading information.
Testing on Twitter for iOS, Android and the web in the US