Super Follows: Check out Twitter’s marketing monetization for accounts
Rumblings of changes coming to Twitter have been going on for some time. However, the rumors can finally stop as Twitter has announced some of the new changes it plans to roll out soon.
Many of the changes center around creating spaces for more active & safer conversations within communities on Twitter. The biggest change comes in the form of Super Follows a Patreon-like experience on Twitter.
Many of the new features on Twitter weren’t given an official launch date and are forward-looking. While they confirmed that they are working on there is a chance some things don’t get implemented.
Coming up, @kayvz and @dantley talk about our product strategy and approach to increase healthy participation in the public conversation. #TWTRAnalystDay pic.twitter.com/iDRU2ETSHm
— Twitter Investor Relations (@TwitterIR) February 25, 2021
With all the changes announced during Twitter’s Analysts Presentation, there is a lot to keep track of. While most people will be interested in the new Super Follower features, here is everything new coming to Twitter.
Let’s get Super Followers out of the way. Super Follows will allow users to subscribe to their favorite writers, journalists, and other creators for a small fee per creator. This will definitely change journalism, allowing writers to create their own paywalls. It will be interesting to see how publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and countless others adapt to this new tool.
The model is compared to Patreon; however, the key difference is the flat fee on Twitter. The social media giant will charge $4.99 per subscription, where Patreon allows creators to create their own price points and multiple tears. The hope is to curb the amount of bullying & harassment by creating a community of dedicated followers.
Another feature to talk about here is a new tipping model. Twitter’s Head of Design & Research, Dantley Davis, only mentioned the exploration of tipping in the presentation. However, other places like YouTube use a tipping model. Twitter will most likely follow a model similar to vocal.media which allows readers to tip writers for their work.
A big concern for users on Twitter is safety around who people are interacting with. In recent years bullying has become a big issue on the platform. Major stars like Daisy Ridley, Leslie Jones, Kelly Marie Tran, & Adele all left Twitter after receiving negative comments on the site.
To combat this, Twitter is introducing auto block & mute. According to Product Lead Kayvon Beykpour, auto block & mute will help “[recognize] when somebody’s getting dogpiled and providing them more power and intelligent blocking capabilities to defend themselves from an overwhelming degree of intense interactions.”
According to images during the presentation, the toggle will do two things: 1) block accounts breaking Twitter’s rules and 2) mute users using insults, name-calling, strong-language, or hurtful remarks.
Another feature is birdwatch, which is designed to help regulate the spread of misinformation. Twitter is taking a Wikipedia-like approach and relying on users to report misinformation and give context. According to the presentation, users will provide the context in their own words, not just request context to be added. Twitter hasn’t clarified how they’ll monitor user-provided context for accuracy.
Finally, Twitter is adding tags in profiles to help users differentiate types of accounts. This will be a small gray tag right above their follower account. The two shown during Twitter’s presentation were “Automated Account” & “Restaurant.” According to the presentation each account comes with certain attributes & capabilities. However, they did not dive into what those are.
In terms of new features, this should really get people excited. Twitter is expanding its list of followable topics. Twitter introduced followable topics in 2019 to help users streamline their timelines. Before topics, users needed to follow the right accounts to personalize their timelines. With topics, users get the most relevant tweets to their favorite topics.
Twitter found a lot of success with this feature as posts users saw from a topic saw more engagement than posts from a specific user. Twitter is also working on a feature that will let users control how much or little of a topic they want in their timeline and a feature to pin topics.
Next is Communities. Twitter will begin testing the Facebook Group-like feature later this year. The hope is to create environments for targeted conversation around certain topics. Users will be able to tweet directly into each Community and choose when writing tweets which communities to include them in.
New ways to create
Twitter is evolving and added new ways to create. One of the new features is space. Twitter’s Head of Design & Research Dantley Davis didn’t elaborate well on this; however, it appears to be live podcasting.
Davis mentioned Twitter released the beta feature in December. However, a new app called Stereo is already doing live podcasting. Twitter’s slow rollout gets at the heart of one of the problems CEO Jack Dorsey mentioned earlier in the presentation of the speed of invasion at Twitter. Twitter is a giant compared to the new Stereo app, and it will be interesting to see the two compete with each other.
Lastly, Twitter is working on adding long-form content to go alongside their recently added newsletter feature. Twitter silently released their newsletter feature in January and will be included in the Super Follows feature.