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Twitter is testing the waters of launching a premium subscription service which would give exclusive features to paying members. 

The concept of a premium Twitter service has been rumored for weeks, until CEO Jack Dorsey told investors the gossip was true. Reportedly, the idea has become popular within the company following a recent decrease in ad revenue. 

In a letter to shareholders, the company stated:

“We are also in the early stages of exploring additional potential revenue product opportunities to compliment our advertising business. These may include subscriptions and other approaches, and although our exploration is very early and we do not expect any revenue attributable to these opportunities in 2020, you may see tests or hear us talk more about them as our work progresses.”

A report from CNN says the premium service could come as soon as later this year.

As for what the premium version of Twitter might look like, the company gave a sneak peek with a survey being sent out to some Twitter users. 

The survey specifically asks users “Which of the following features would you most/least desire?”

The premium features suggested in the email include:

  • Undo Send: A 30 seconds window for you to recall/withdraw a Tweet before anyone can see it.
  • Custom Colors: In addition to “Night Mode,” you could change the fonts and theme color of Twitter on your phone and computer. Background color, links, mentions, hashtags, and icons would appear in whatever color you choose.
  • Video Publishing: You could publish videos up to 5x longer than current default, which a much higher maximum resolution (8192×8192).
  • Badges: You get a badge(s) on your profile that links to businesses you own or work for (Example: A journalist can have a badge showing the magazines they write for.)
  • Auto responses: Able to write and set a menu of auto responses to use in replies.
  • Social listening: You can see conversation around your account on Twitter, including total volume, the people and businesses who are talking most often, and what they are saying.
  • Brand Surveys: You could be able to survey people about the ads you run to better understand if your ad was memorable and if people are likely to buy the products or services featured.

Another survey sent out explored the idea of removing some ads for a fee.

Of course, the features proposed in these surveys may never come to fruition and any paid version of Twitter could look radically different than what has been suggested. As the surveys note: 

“This is not necessarily reflective of what features Twitter will have in the future.”

Source: Shawn Campbell

Source: Shawn Campbell

When Twitter’s algorithmic timelines started appearing as a test on the social media site, you would have thought they had announced users had to commit a sacrifice before posting. Angry memes were shared, many users threatened to leave the site, and the “end of Twitter” seemed to be on the horizon.

It turns out first impressions don’t always mean anything.

Despite the initial uproar, Twitter’s algorithmic timeline is actually going over well and will soon become the default for all users.

Slate reports Twitter has been gradually rolling out a default algorithmic timeline for users for weeks now, and the reception has been largely positive. According to a Twitter spokesperson quoted in the report, the percentage of users to opt-out of the new timeline has been in the “low single digits.”

This isn’t a case of users being slow to opt-out either. Data shows users are engaging with it more frequently in almost every way compared to the traditional chronologic timeline.  Users with the new timeline are tweeting, replying, retweeting, and favoriting more than ever.

Part of the warm reception may be related to how Twitter is handling the rollout. Instead of pushing out the change to everyone all at once, Twitter is gradually rolling it out and notifying every user individually as their timeline changes.

Users who dislike the new timeline can always opt-out and return to the traditional time-based timeline. All you have to do is go to the settings area and uncheck “Show me the best tweets first.”

While Twitter is changing some things up, another controversial move by the site appears to be on the backburner for now. During an appearance on the Today Show, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stressed the site would be retaining its 140 character limit for Tweets.

During press appearances for the 10th anniversary of the platform, Dorsey clarified they would not be doing away with the character limit. He said, “It’s staying… It’s a good constraint for us, and it allows for of-the-moment brevity.”