Earlier this summer Twitter gave up on Fleets, which it launched less than a year ago – but the company is making other significant changes that may be important for media organizations in the near future. Most are currently in the testing stage.
#1 Super Follows launch
The function allows a selected creator to charge a monthly fee for exclusive content for their biggest fans. For now Super Follows are available only to iOS users in the USA and Canada, but the company promised to roll out the update globally in the next few weeks.
Creators will be able to charge $2.99, $4.99, or $9.99 monthly from the most engaged followers. Twitter chose a small group of US-based creators for the launch.
Super Follows set up by @esthercrawford on Twitter blog
US-based users can apply to join the waitlist to set up a Super Follows subscription by swiping open the sidebar on the Home timeline, tapping on Monetization, then selecting Super Follows.
Criteria for applying to join the waiting list:
- 10K or more followers
- 18 years old
- At least 25 Tweets within the last 30 days
- Based in the U.S.
- Follow Twitter Super Follows Policy
Creators will get up to 97% of payments while their lifetime earnings from Super Follows are below $50,000. When that number increases, creators will earn up to 80% of revenue after in-app purchase fees.
In May 2021, Twitter also implemented a tip jar for selected English-language accounts. The function allows creators, journalists, experts, and nonprofits to be rewarded for their individual Tweets. The platform plans to share Tip Jar with the rest of its users, expanding to more languages.
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#2 Tests of putting Revue newsletters on profiles
After acquiring Revue, an editorial newsletter service, in January 2021, Twitter started to test the implementation of newsletters in creators’ profiles. Every Twitter user with a Revue newsletter can show it on their profile. At the moment of publication, it’s being displayed only to a test group of web and Android users on Twitter. According to statements from Twitter, soon iOS users also will see a link to Revue newsletters on author profiles beneath their follower counts.
Authors can send newsletters for free and have full control over the price for their content monthly. Twitter charges creators 5% of the earnings from paid subscriptions. You can read more about pricing on Revue here.
After clicking “subscribe”, users are prompted to read an example issue or subscribe using the email address connected to their Twitter account. When users grant their consent, creators can then see only their email addresses, but not Twitter accounts. Identifying Twitter accounts via related email addresses is still possible, however. In addition to this data, Revue provides a number of metrics on newsletter performance, including open rate, click rate, the number of subscribers who received the issue, the percentage of subscribers who unsubscribed and online views.
More from The Fix: Beginning of a newsletter arms race
#3 Tests of misinformation reports
Since August 2021 Twitter has been testing misinformation reports in the United States, Australia, and South Korea. Users in those markets can report misinformation about COVID-19 and elections in the same way they would flag abuse or spam. Users won’t receive any updates on the status of their reports though. For now, Twitter is fact-checking only posts related to the elections or COVID-19. The introduction of the new functionality has a research goal: to observe misinformation trends on the platform and to detect problem areas that are worth focusing on in the future.
Twitter has also been testing Birdwatch since June 2021 in the US market. “Birdwatch allows people to identify information in Tweets they believe is misleading and write notes that provide informative context,” said Keith Coleman, Twitter VP of Product in a corporate blog. Twitter says that once Birdwatch notes are added to a tweet, users can rate whether the comment was helpful for them. The Birdwatch card disappears if it has not been rated positively.
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Example Birdwatch notes via @birdwatch
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#4 Test of “Leave this conversation” option
This new feature allows users to avoid unwanted discussions and keeps them from being mentioned again within a thread. The platform has already implemented changes to allow users to select which accounts can reply to their tweets, and introduced prompts encouraging users to review their Tweets before posting potentially offensive content.
The “unmention” button via @_dcrc_
#5 Hiding old and liked Tweets & removing followers
One more important update, meant to help users avoid reputation mishaps, is being tested by Twitter. As Bloomberg reported, if the change is implemented, users would be able to hide old tweets after a set amount of time: 30, 60, 90 days, or a full year, allowing people to avoid potentially embarrassing tweets coming to life again in the distant future. Twitter also told Bloomberg about tests of the following functionalities, aimed at increasing user control over privacy: hiding liked tweets and removing followers. According to the results of Twitter’s internal research, many of the platform’s users don’t understand whether their account is publicly visible, said Svetlana Pimkina, a Twitter staff researcher.