Twitter to add new features for improved conversations, more monetisation opportunities for creators

Twitter announced new features including updates to Spaces and global expansion of Tips   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Twitter on Thursday announced a slew of new features that are being rolled out, including updates to Spaces and global expansion of Tips, as the microblogging platform aims to improve conversations, support more monetisation avenues for users and provide them with a safe experience.

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Twitter Head of Consumer Product Kayvon Beykpour said the platform can be the conversational layer of the internet, and can lead everyone to greater opportunities to speak freely which is core to an open society.

Public conversation is better when as many people as possible can participate in the ways that they want to, whether that is with Tweets, images, their voice or longform content, he said in a virtual briefing.

"A lot of people on Twitter have built significant followings, and we see a huge opportunity to provide these people an outlet to earn additional income, directly from the people who appreciate and value their content the most. We believe this also can serve as a powerful, economic incentive to increase healthy discourse on the platform," Beykpour said.

He added that the company has been focused on expanding expression beyond 280 characters and helping people tweet on their own terms.

"People are only going to talk on Twitter if they feel comfortable doing so and one way we've been enabling this, is by empowering people to control who they want to hear from, who they want to talk to and on what terms...

"...we believe this work is really critical to improving conversations on the platform, inspiring new use cases for talking on Twitter, helping people feel safe, and ultimately making more people feel comfortable participating in the public conversation," he said.

Twitter Product Lead for Creator Monetisation Esther Crawford said in the next few weeks, the company will introduce a program for Spaces hosts.

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"It's designed to give financial, technical and marketing support for emerging audio creators who are passionate about the live audio format, and are interested in creating recurring programming on Spaces.

"Live audio content is still new to us, and it's new to many creators. So we want to help them build their audience, experiment with content and understand the kinds of conversations that their audience wants to participate in," she added.

In addition, Twitter will make some key updates to Spaces over the next few months, including recording and replays to help people experience Spaces conversations after they happen.

It will also bring in improved discovery with ways to find more Spaces at the top of the timeline or in dedicated locations.

"We're going to continue to roll out access to ticketed Spaces, so that hosts can have the option to set ticket prices, and the number of tickets that they want, so that they can kind of set their own vibe and get compensated for the unique experiences that they create.

"Formats like Spaces encourage people to join the conversation in an entirely new way, and we're really excited to keep iterating," Crawford said.

Twitter is testing 'Super Follows' with a small group of creators on iOS in the US. This is a monthly subscription service, so creators can charge for access to an extra level of content like behind-the-scenes thoughts and private conversations.

"We're just getting started and for now, people using iOS in the US and Canada can subscribe to Super Follow these initial creators. We'll be rolling it out more globally soon," she said.

Twitter is also starting the roll out of Tips -- a service that allows users to send and receive one-time payments using third-party services -- globally on iOS, with Android coming soon.

"We're adding more payment services to Tips and people can now tip with Bitcoin using Strike – a payments application built on the Bitcoin Lightning Network that allows people to send and receive Bitcoin free and instantly," she said.

Twitter is also testing Communities to help users find and connect with others who share similar interests as them. It is starting with a few initial Communities and will roll out more in the future.

Talking about the 'Safety Mode', Twitter Product Lead for Conversational Safety Christine Su said the platform wants to reduce the burden on people dealing with disruptions, and so it had recently introduced this feature.

"It's a new safety feature to auto-block accounts similar to the ones you've blocked already, so you don't have to do all the work. We're testing this safety feature with a small group on iOS, Android, and, beginning with accounts that have English-language settings enabled," she said.

Su said Twitter will soon be experimenting with 'Heads Up' that will give people a heads up "before they join a potentially heated discussion".

Twitter has recently started testing profile labels for automated accounts, so people know if they're talking to a real person or a bot.

"You'll see us explore more account types, like businesses, brands, and memorialized accounts in the future," it said.

Su noted that Twitter is exploring new ways people can filter out unwanted speech in their replies -- stopping targeted name calling or emojis.

"This is a concept for now, but we'll keep you posted on how this exploration may evolve....Soon, you'll also be able to remove yourself from a convo that you don't want to be in. The person who @mentioned you won't be notified that you've quietly left the thread," Twitter said.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 5:59:57 PM |

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