UPDATED 22:36 EST / FEBRUARY 25 2021

APPS

Twitter considers a makeover with plans to offer a raft of new features

Twitter Inc. may have not changed much over the years, but today the company announced some new features that could give its users quite a different experience.

During the its Analyst Day, the company revealed that it will introduce a feature called “Communities” that’s much like Facebook Inc.’s Groups feature. “We’re working to create a product experience that makes it easier for people to form, discover, and participate in conversations that are more targeted to the relevant communities or geographies they’re interested in,” Twitter wrote.

The company will also introduce a feature that will give people the opportunity to make money from their account. Dantley Davis, Twitter’s head of design and research, said users will be able to tip people, although it’s not exactly clear right now how that will work. It’s likely that it will have something to do with long-form content or Twitter’s recent acquisition of the newsletter, Revue.

“We see other impactful opportunities provide monetary incentive models that allow creators and publishers on Twitter to be directly supported by their articles, they’ll see us explore solutions for tipping and account subscriptions through super follows,” Davis added.

Monetization will also involve what Twitter calls “super followers.” It will encourage people to pay to follow accounts so they can receive added content, exclusive content or even badges. It could also mean that super followers receive bonus tweets. This is a plan currently under consideration, although Twitter mentioned a price tag of $4.99 a month for these extras.

One thing seems certain: Twitter wants to reinvent itself. “Why don’t we start with why folks don’t believe in us,” Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said at the start of Twitter’s virtual meeting. “It comes down to three critiques: we’re slow, we’re not innovative, and we’re not trusted.”

Dorsey also said that he wants Twitter’s revenue to double over the next three years and he’d like to see Twitter’s daily active users increase by 64%. Soon after he said that the company’s stock increased by 9% and then closed the day with a rise of 3.7%.

Apart from monetization and building communities, Twitter also announced today that it’s working on a new “safety mode.” During the presentation, Twitter said explained that it will “automatically block accounts that appear to break the Twitter Rules, and mute accounts that might be using insults, name-calling, strong language, or hateful remarks.” Not much more than that was said, but it seems the mode could save users the hassle of blocking people themselves.

Photo: quotecatalog/Flickr

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