From introducing live audio conversations to rolling out updates to conversation settings, Twitter explored new ways for people to have conversations and earn money on the service, while keeping Twitter safe and inclusive.
As the year comes to a close, Twitter looks back today on all the products that were rolled out on the service in 2021. We introduced new ways for people to connect and earn money on Twitter, and also invested efforts into keeping Twitter safe and inclusive. Embracing experimentation, we tested features that make it easier for people to join and follow conversations, and evaluated what worked and what didn’t.
We said goodbye to Fleets and Periscope and used the insights and lessons learned to better serve public conversation. And as people continue to crave for close connections amidst social distancing and (semi) closed borders, we introduced live audio conversations with Twitter Spaces. We found that hearing people’s voices brings conversations on Twitter to life in a completely refreshing way, adding a layer of empathy and connection.
We’ve continued iterating and delivering features and improvements to our products based on direct feedback from the people who use it, check out the full list of products below.
New ways to have a conversation
Find your tribe on Twitter (Sep 2021)
We started testing Communities on Twitter to connect people who care and want to talk about the same things, whether it’s about favourite 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 on Twitter and we expect to continue to grow the number of Communities once we 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.
Let’s talk anytime, anywhere (May 2021)
We introduced Twitter Spaces for live audio conversations on Twitter. We 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 encourages and unlocks real, open conversations on Twitter with the authenticity and nuance only the human voice can bring. We’ve 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 we 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. Twitter is where people go to have real conversations about what’s happening — and creators are responsible for starting, influencing, and amplifying many of those conversations. 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. Twitter wants to be the home for writers, 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, we 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 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.
All while ensuring conversations stay healthy and inclusive
Safety Mode (Sep 2021)
We know that feeling safe on Twitter is different for everyone. Safety Mode is a feature we are 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
Improving media on Twitter (Sep 2021)
We upgraded the quality of photos and videos posted to Twitter, and began testing edge to edge Tweets so your photos, GIFs, and videos can have more room to shine. What’s more, you can share your 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)
We’re committed to providing reliable context to help people make informed decisions about what they see on Twitter. To build on our Curation team’s ongoing work to surface credible information on Twitter, we began to work with The Associated Press (AP) and Reuters to expand our 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)
We’ve rolled out redesigned misinformation labels to help people more easily know when a Tweet’s content is potentially misleading. These labels will appear with colour-coded backgrounds, making them much more visible in the feed while giving people a way to quickly parse the information from visual cues. We’ve 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, we rolled out a Conversation Settings update to allow people to “Change who can reply” to a Tweet midway through a conversation. We’ve 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)
It is important to us that Twitter well reflects the many voices that shape the conversation on the service, which is why we 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, we rolled out improvements to how images appear on your Home timeline. This work is a direct result of the feedback people shared with us last year that the way our 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 our 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)
We want to make it easier for everyone on Twitter to know who they’re interacting with. One way to do that for notable & authentic accounts is through the blue verified badge. This year, we rolled out our new verification application and began once again reviewing public applications for the blue check mark.. Eligibility criteria is more transparent thanks to our new policy that was largely shaped by public feedback. Verification is just one way to identify yourself on Twitter, but we 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 you to get some fresh air #selfcare. We plan 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, we tested prompts to encourage people to pause and reconsider a potentially harmful or offensive reply before pressing send. These tests showed us that if prompted, 34% of people revised their initial reply or decided not to send their reply at all. It also showed us that after being prompted once, people composed, on average, 11% fewer offensive replies in the future. This year, we 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 our technology to more accurately detect strong language, including profanity.
Moving into the new year, we want to continue to encourage the global, public conversation on Twitter. From making it easy for people to connect with what they care about, helping everyone on Twitter curate their own experiences, being rewarded for the content they’re creating, to feeling safe and in control, here’s to even more features in 2022!