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Twitter has confirmed it is dropping support for AMP pages, adding more evidence to the growing belief that AMP (or Accelerated Mobile Pages) are on their way out of use.

In an update to its developer document for AMP pages, Twitter says it is discontinuing support for the format by the end of the year:

“We’re in the process of discontinuing support for this feature and it will be fully retired in Q4 of 2021.”

This comes after some users had noticed a lack of support for AMP going back as far as October.

What This Means For You

If you have been sharing AMP links on Twitter, you can technically still do so without any significant issues. 

However, instead of being directed to the AMP versions of your content, Twitter will automatically direct users to the original content. 

It goes without saying that this negates the point of adding AMP links instead of sharing the original page. 

Why Is AMP Losing Support?

Many people dislike AMP pages for a number of reasons, citing everything from buggy performance to criticism over the boost they received in search results for a time. 

In recent times, Google has seemed to recognize this. 

First, they did this by making AMP pages less obvious in search results by removing the icon which had accompanied pages using the format. Additionally, Google dropped requirements for pages to use AMP to be eligible to be included in the Top Stories carousel. 

The most recent evidence that Google is losing confidence in AMP is the September announcement that Google News would start showing fewer AMP pages in the results.

This has all led many to believe that AMP is on its way out at Google, as well as Twitter.

After months of rumors, Twitter has confirmed it is launching a subscription-like feature which allows users to pay for premium content from content creators or influencers on the platform.

The company previewed the new feature it is calling “Super Follow” at its investor-focused Analyst Day event last week, along with a few other new features which are coming to the platform soon.

What Is Twitter’s “Super Follow”?

Super Follow will soon allow creators, influencers, and brands to monetize their tweets, similar to platforms like Patreon or YouTube Subscriptions.

“Twitter is working on a “Super Follow” function that can be used to earn money directly on the platform. Here are the first screenshots”

For a monthly fee, Twitter users can sign up to get exclusive content and perks from a select creator, including:

  • A supporter badge
  • Access to a subscriber-only newsletter
  • Exclusive content
  • Exclusive promotions and discounts
  • VIP community access

Unlike what you can find on sites like Patreon, Super Follow is a one-size-fits-all feature amd does not allow for separate tiers for fans or support.

While the specific revenue split is not clear, Twitter says creators will be able to earn money directly through Super Follow, making this a viable way to increase revenue from social media. This will likely also make Super Follow an attractive option for publishers hoping to find a new source of revenue other than digital advertising placements on their site.

Twitter Communities Take On Facebook Groups

Another upcoming feature highlighted at the Analyst Day event was the launch of Twitter Communities.

Similar to Facebook Groups, Communities allows users to join together around common interests or topics.

Details about the feature are hard to come by, but images shared by those who attended the event show a conversation hub which may make discussions easier for larger communities. 

Otherwise, the layout, design, and features look distinctly familiar to anyone who has been active on Facebook Groups in the past few years.

Twitter’s Goals for 2021 and Beyond

To close out the presentation, Twitter listed three specific goals to achieve in the future:

  • Double development velocity by the end of 2023, which means doubling the number of features shipped per employee that directly drive either mDAU (monetized daily active users)  or revenue.
  • Reach at least 315 million mDAU in Q4 2023, which represents a ~20% compound annual growth rate from the base of 152 million mDAU reported in Q4 2019, which was the most recently reported mDAU when Twitter first announced this ambition in March of 2020.
  • At least double total annual revenue from $3.7 billion in 2020 to $7.5 billion or more in 2023.

After shuttering the public verification process more than three years ago, Twitter is relaunching the system – with some changes. 

Recently, the company stated it plans to reopen the public verification application process in early 2021 after collecting feedback about the process. 

As Twitter says in the announcement:

“We plan to relaunch verification, including a new public application process, in early 2021. But first, we need to update our verification policy with your help.

This policy will lay the foundation for future improvements by defining what verification means, who is eligible for verification and why some accounts might lose verification to ensure the process is more equitable.”

While many of the changes are yet to be cemented until the platform has gathered more feedback, Twitter has given some insight into how it will be approaching verification.

Who Can Be Verified?

According to the announcement, you must meet two criteria to be verified.

“To receive the blue badge, your account must be notable and active.”

The first half of this means that six different types of public figures, organizations, or companies are eligible for the public verification process.

These are:

  • Government
  • Companies, Brands and Non-Profit Organizations
  • News
  • Entertainment
  • Sports
  • Activists, Organizers, and Other Influential Individuals

As for being active, Twitter defines this based on 4 factors:

  • Completion: Accounts must have a full profile name and bio, as well as profile and banner images.
  • Present: You must have logged onto Twitter at least once in the past 6 months. 
  • Secure: The account must have a confirmed email address or phone number.
  • Following Twitter’s Rules: Accounts that have been locked for 12-hours or 7-days due to user conduct within the past 6 months are not eligible for verification. The only exception is if you have successfully appealed the account suspension.

Prohibited Types of Accounts

Some types of accounts will also be ineligible for the public verification process, even if they meet the “notable and active” requirements. These include:

  • Parody, newsfeed, commentary, or fan accounts.
  • Accounts for pets or fictional characters unless directly affiliated with a verified brand or entertainment production. This means that a verified account for Scooby-Doo would be allowed if the account is operated by Hannah-Barbera or one of the channels it airs on, but not one operated by you or me. 
  • Accounts which have engaged in severe violations of Twitter’s guidelines on platform manipulation or spam, such as buying or selling followers or retweets.
  • Accounts representing individuals or groups linked to harmful or hateful activity. 

Of course, Twitter reserves the right to revoke an account’s verification at any time. This could occur for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Letting the account become incomplete or inactive.
  • The individual is no longer in the public position which made them eligible for verification.
  • Violations of Twitter’s rules and guidelines.

Subject To Change

Currently, nothing is set in stone regarding the public verification process when it comes in 2021. Even the posted policies could be tweaked or changed before the final version is implemented. 

To help decide on any changes, Twitter is holding an open feedback period from November 24, 2020 to December 8, 2020. If you would like to provide your opinion, you can by completing this survey.

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.”

Tweetstorms have grown from a user-initiated trick to get past Twitter’s original 140-character limit into a legitimate feature this week, as Twitter launches a new feature to combine tweets into a longer statement.

In a blog post, the company says the ability to tie tweets into what they are calling a “thread” will be rolling out to all Twitter users “in the coming weeks.”

Since the launch of Twitter, it has been tradition for users to reply to their own tweets to expand on what they want to say. Often, these tweets and replies will be labeled with numbers to make it clear what order to read them in.

Now, Twitter is simplifying the process with a “+” button which lets them continue their thought in a thread. The process can be repeated to make threads as long as users need (up to 25 threads). People will also be able to add tweets to new threads.

Thanks to the new feature, the way tweetstorms or threads are shown in people’s feeds will also be changing. Instead of scrolling through the list of tweets in replies, users can simply click a “show this tread” label to expand the full set of tweets.

The decision to launch the thread feature now is an interesting one. The company has already expanded the maximum length of tweets to allow users to fit more in at a time. With the latest move, Twitter has made it clear that brevity is quickly falling down their list of priorities in favor of more complex conversations.

Since its creation, Twitter has been defined by one simple thing. No, not memes, politics, or the platform’s ability to spread information faster than even the biggest news networks. The hallmark trait of the social media service has always been its 140-character limit.

This week, Twitter announced that could change very soon as the company has begun testing tweets that are twice as long. A small group of randomly chosen users from around the globe have been given the ability to create tweets with up to 280-characters.

As co-founder Jack Dorsey said in a tweet announcing the test:

“This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence!”

Of course, this isn’t the first time Twitter has experimented with super-sized tweets. The company made major waves early last year when news broke that Twitter was considering expanding tweets well beyond 140 or even 280-characters. At the time, it was rumored Twitter was considering lengthening tweets up to 10,000 characters, though the idea was eventually discarded.

The big question is whether users will actually come to like the longer tweets and if it encourages more conversation. The early reaction is somewhat hostile from users who say that removing the need for brevity doesn’t actually equate to saying more.

https://twitter.com/brianrbarone/status/912788388150960130

Given that Twitter users are largely protective of the restraints they’ve come to love, the strong reaction isn’t necessarily a surprise and may not be indicative of the long-term response. While many users complain about longer tweets, a number of determined users have found workarounds so that they can get in on the 280-character party even if they weren’t selected for the limited beta test group.

The decision to expand tweets could also remove the need for old Twitter customs where users would share screenshots of longer texts as pictures or share several related tweets as a “tweet chain” or “tweetstorm”.

Ultimately, we will all just have to sit back and wait to see whether the 280-character limit catches on or if it is just another Twitter experiment that will fade into the ether.

Twitter Banner

Social media is one of the quickest and easiest ways for a customer to reach a business, which is why sites likes Twitter and Facebook are fast becoming de facto customer service platforms. Users expect to be able to reach a business and have their problems solved through social media and it is important for businesses to be available.

Twitter has recognized its power as a customer service platform and has been testing features to help customer’s take advantage of this. One such feature was released this week which shows users when brands and businesses are most likely to respond on Twitter.

apple-most-responsive-twitter

The new “most responsive feature” is starting to pop up on profile pages for pages like Apple Support, but also on brand pages like Medium’s profile on both desktop and mobile.

medium-most-responsive-twitter

Little is known about the feature since it was first spotted this morning. Twitter hasn’t said whether the feature is just a small test or if you can expect to see it spread in the coming weeks and there is no indication of whether businesses have any control over the listing.

Ultimately, the new feature is just a test to keep an eye on. Not only does it provide a potential way to improve customer interactions with brands, but it signals Twitter’s intentions to highlight the customer service potential of their platform. You can likely expect to see similar features and information for brands that offer customer service through Twitter in the future.

Source: Shawn Campbell

Source: Shawn Campbell

Rumor has it that Twitter will be extending the character limit of Tweets from 140 characters to upwards of 10,000 characters. The news comes from a report in Recode, which cites multiple sources claiming the longer tweets should be expected by the end of the quarter, but public reaction is mixed at best.

Descriptions of the new feature say the longer tweets wouldn’t clutter up feeds. Instead, up to 140 characters of any tweet will appear in user’s timelines, but a new call to action would allow users to read more.

The sources also say the company is already planning for how users might attempt to spam timelines so they might be able to combat it. For example, there may be limits to the number of other users that can be mentioned in tweets.

Unfortunately for the company, response to the rumor has already been overwhelmingly negative. Many say the 140 character limit has been the defining feature of Twitter and without it there is little to distinguish the platform.

The hashtag #Twitter10k has already taken off as users both mock and lament the rumor. Here is just a sampling of what users are saying:

Given the reaction to the rumor, it is hard to predict whether Twitter will follow through or go back to the drawing board for the next big feature. The best indication will be if we start seeing tests for different character lengths in tweets in the coming month.