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Twitter is saying goodbye to Fleets, its take on the popular Story format across most popular social networks, after launching the feature just nine months ago.

In a recent announcement, the company said it would stop supporting Fleets as of August 3, 2021.

As Twitter explained, it had hoped that Fleets would help drive new engagement and new users. From what they’ve seen, that just wasn’t happening.

The official statement stated:

“We built Fleets as a lower-pressure, ephemeral way for people to share their fleeting thoughts. We hoped Fleets would help more people feel comfortable joining the conversation on Twitter.

“But, in the time since we introduced Fleets to everyone, we haven’t seen an increase in the number of new people joining the conversation with Fleets like we hoped.”

That isn’t to say the feature wasn’t being used. Instead, the people who took to using Twitter Fleets were already active and engaged on the platform before the feature was rolled out. 

“Although we built Fleets to address some of the anxieties that hold people back from Tweeting, Fleets are mostly used by people who are already Tweeting to amplify their own Tweets and talk directly with others.

“We’ll explore more ways to address what holds people back from participating on Twitter. And for the people who already are Tweeting, we’re focused on making this better for you.”

It is somewhat surprising to see a company be so candid about an underwhelming launch, though Twitter isn’t treating the shutdown of Fleets as a loss. Instead, they say they will apply what they’ve learned towards future improvements.

What Comes Next

When Fleets are removed from the platform, Twitter will use its current place to highlight live audio streams and chats through Spaces.

“The top of the timeline continues to be a good spot to highlight what’s happening right now so you’ll still see Spaces there when someone you follow is hosting or speaking in a live audio conversation.”

There’s no need to worry about lost content, however, since Fleets were already designed to disappear after 24 hours.

Twitter is making it possible to drive newsletter sign ups straight from your profile through recently acquired company Revue. 

Those publishing their newsletters through Revue will be able to add a ‘Subscribe’ button directly in their profile, underneath the ‘mutual followers’ section and above your most recent tweets. 

Revue announced the new feature earlier this week in a series of tweets, which said:

“We’re currently building new ways to grow your newsletter audience, and we want to preview one that will live right on your Twitter profile.

“We want to give writers tools to turn their growing, engaged Twitter audience into newsletter subscribers. This will be available for Revue newsletters soon, so stay tuned. Now, back to work to keep building.“

Along with the sign up button, Twitter will highlight the name of your newsletter, what type of content they can expect to receive, and how many subscribers you have. 

Users can also choose to read a sample issue of your newsletter before subscribing. 

To help prevent accidental opt-ins, Twitter will also require users to verify their subscription via a link in their email.

Monetization Opportunities?

One thing that makes Revue somewhat unique in the newsletter area is that publishers can choose to offer paid newsletters (with Twitter/Revue taking 5% of the revenue). By linking these newsletters with the subscription button, users can technically take advantage of one of the first ways to monetize content on the platform. 

Importantly, Revue is entirely free for those who opt for the traditional method of delivering free newsletters to subscribers. 

When Is It Coming?

Despite the announcement of the feature, it is unclear when exactly we can expect to see the Subscribe button go live across Twitter. 

Rumors suggest it could be launched as soon as the next few weeks on Android and desktop devices, with iOS support coming further down the line. Still, there is no official launch window in the statement from Revue, meaning we could be pleasantly surprised with an earlier launch or that we may have to wait even longer.

New data extracted from the Twitter app gives us the clearest picture so far of what the company’s upcoming subscription service will look like when it reaches the world. 

Rumors have swirled for quite some time that the company was planning to launch a paid service, which was confirmed earlier this year. However, pretty much nothing has been known about what features would be included, it’s pricing, or even the name of the subscription service. 

Information pulled by reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong may potentially change that, though. 

In a series of Tweets, Wong revealed the service is tentatively being called “Twitter Blue” and will offer prices starting at $2.99 a month. 

She also revealed the service will include the ability to “undo” sent tweets, manage bookmarked tweets, and access to ad-free news articles. 

All of this information is subject to change until an official announcement is made, but here’s what we know about the paid features currently. 

Undo Sent Tweets

Obviously, it is pretty much impossible to completely remove something from the internet once it’s out there. Still, Twitter wants to give you the next best thing. 

With the undo sent tweets feature, the social network will give users a short chance to rethink what they are about to send out to the world.

When enabled, the feature delays the publishing of your tweet for about 6-seconds after hitting Post. This gives you the extra chance to look over your tweet for any typos or reconsider publishing something incendiary. 

This means literally no one will have the chance to see impulsive, poorly written, or incomplete tweets if you hit undo within the short time window. 

Bookmarks Collections

Twitter Blue seems set to also offer users the ability to organize and manage their Twitter bookmarks into separate folders. 

Currently, bookmarked tweets are all put into a single “Bookmarks” list. This means the feature unfortunately becomes less effective the more you use it, as it gets harder to find what you are looking for in your growing list of saved content. 

With Collections, users will be able to keep their increasing bookmarks collection organized and easy to search through. This also opens the potential to being able to share Collections with others in the future, similar to creating and sharing pinboards on Pinterest. 

Ad-Free News Articles

Following Twitter’s recent acquisition of Scroll, it has been widely assumed the social network planned to integrate the news service into its paid subscriptions. 

Wong’s discoveries confirm this, with ad-free news offered to higher-tier paid users.

The reason for the heightened cost is that Twitter plans to share revenue with publishers on the news platform – making the service a win-win for both readers and publishers alike.


Given where the data was pulled from, it seems likely we are getting close to the official public reveal of Twitter Blue to the world. Until then, however, Wong has given us a glimpse into just what Twitter is planning for its upcoming subscription service.

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 will soon let users crop their own image previews following criticism over apparent bias in the site’s algorithmic cropping systems. 

Currently, Twitter crops any image to 600×335 pixels, regardless of its original dimensions. However, it is up to Twitter’s algorithm to select what gets cropped out and what gets shown in the image preview.

In the near future, this is going to change. Twitter will be giving control over what is shown in tweet previews:

“We are prioritizing work to decrease our reliance on ML-based image cropping by giving people more visibility and control over what their images will look like in a Tweet.

Going forward, we are committed to following the “what you see is what you get” principles of design, meaning quite simply: the photo you see in the Tweet composer is what it will look like in the Tweet.”

Twitter Image Cropping Racial Bias

While the feature has long been requested by users, it became a priority for Twitter in recent weeks as users noticed the site’s bias defaulted to showing white faces rather than black people or other individuals of color. 

This seemed to occur no matter how the original image was formatted, and users found examples using stock photos:

Cartoons:

Well known politicians:

And even images of animals:

While Twitter denies any purposeful bias built into its algorithm, the company admits its current system has the potential for problematic results:

“While our analyses to date haven’t shown racial or gender bias, we recognize that the way we automatically crop photos means there is a potential for harm. We should’ve done a better job of anticipating this possibility when we were first designing and building this product.”

As such, the company is making changes to prevent these types of problems in the future:

“We’re aware of our responsibility, and want to work towards making it easier for everyone to understand how our systems work. While no system can be completely free of bias, we’ll continue to minimize bias through deliberate and thorough analysis, and share updates as we progress in this space.”

When Is It Coming?

The exact timeline for the changes is not known currently, as Twitter says it is still in the process of developing a solution. 

“There’s lots of work to do,” says the company.

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.”

Twitter is introducing a new way to tweet using just your voice – called simply Voice Tweets.

The company announced this week that voice tweets will soon be among the many different ways you can tweet, such as using photos, videos, and regular text. 

“Over the years, photos, videos, gifs, and extra characters have allowed you to add your own flair and personality to your conversations. But sometimes 280 characters aren’t enough and some conversational nuances are lost in translation.

So starting today, we’re testing a new feature that will add a more human touch to the way we use Twitter – your very own voice.”

To start, the feature is limited to a small number of people using the Twitter app on iOS devices, though it will be rolling out to all iOS devices in the coming weeks.

While those with Android devices and those on desktop computers are left out of being able to create voice tweets for now, everyone can still see and listen to voice tweets that appear in their feed.

How To Post a Voice Tweet

If you have been given access to voice tweets, you will notice a small icon resembling an audio wavelength next to the camera icon when composing a tweet. 

If you tap that icon, you will be presented with a screen showing your profile photo and a record button. Just tap that button to get started recording. 

Voice tweets are limited to 140 seconds of audio in each clip, though the company mentioned that you can keep talking and have your audio automatically split into a thread of multiple voice tweets. 

Once shared, your voice tweet will appear in other people’s feeds with a tappable image that will begin playing your audio in a docked window at the bottom of the screen. 

There’s a lot that can be left unsaid or uninterpreted using text, so we hope voice Tweeting will create a more human experience for listeners and storytellers alike.

Whether it’s #storytime about your encounter with wild geese in your neighborhood, a journalist sharing breaking news, or a first-hand account from a protest, we hope voice Tweeting gives you the ability to share your perspectives quickly and easily with your voice.”

In a post to the company’s business-focused blog, Twitter revealed this week that Tweets including videos generate 10-times the engagement compared to posts without video.  

Most importantly, the pot highlights the fact that you don’t need a Hollywood-sized budget or cutting-edge cameras and microphone to attract this level of engagement. You just need an average smartphone. 

“Your phone is a fully capable multimedia studio in your pocket, giving you everything you need to create compelling content on the go.”

To help get you started, the company also provided a few ideas to spark your creative side. 

GIF It Up

Using existing GIFs you’ve found around the internet can be a tempting way to connect with your audience and show your pop-culture savviness. Instead, however, Twitter recommends creating your own, original GIFs.

Creating GIFs is also easier to do than most people realize. There are countless apps available for Android devices to help you create GIFs, but iOS users have it even easier. The iPhone’s Photos app includes a built-in GIF mode which can convert any video into a GIF. 

If you need more motivation to start using GIFs more often, Twitter also says tweets with GIFs generate up to 55% more engagement than those without. 

Record Your Screen

Another feature included in most phones is the ability to record your own screen and turn it into content. 

This is especially useful for more technical how-to’s or guides, though you can also find ways to show off your online shopping process, highlight your products, or easily turn a photo slideshow into a video. 

Use Stop Motion

via GIPHY

On the note of image-based slideshows, another type of video content you can easily create with your phone is a short stop motion video. 

If you aren’t familiar with the term, stop motion is the very foundation for all animation. The process simply includes taking a series of photos and playing them quickly enough to show action or movement. 

On your phone, the process is typically as easy as taking a photo, moving your position or the object you are photographing slightly, and taking another photo. Then, repeat. .

You can use these ideas to get started making stop motion videos to share:

  • Move the camera around the object
  • Keep the camera on a tripod and move the object instead
  • Add details to the object like drawings or text
  • Take the object apart to show how the parts fit together

For more tips on creating videos, check out Twitter’s best practices for videos.

One of the biggest issues keeping many brands from promoting themselves more heavily on Twitter is the platform’s rampant trolling and abuse problems. Over the last few years, Twitter has become infamous for the rude, inappropriate, or even vulgar behavior of its users despite several attempts to address the issue.

Now, Twitter is giving users another tool to reduce the impact of trolls and other troublemakers by allowing users to hide replies to their tweets from the public.

While the feature has been rumored for months, representatives from the company have confirmed it will be rolling out the feature as a test starting in June.

As the company says in a blog post from this week:

“Starting in June, we’ll be experimenting with ways to give people more control over their conversations by giving them an option to hide replies to their Tweets.”

The tool allows you to actively moderate responses to your Tweets by individually hiding offensive or problematic responses. Users can then choose to reveal the Tweet if by selecting to show hidden replies.

Jane Manchun Wong previewed the feature, including screenshots of how it will work:

The feature doesn’t allow you to fully delete inappropriate comments like Facebook or Instagram, nor does it allow you to entirely turn off responses to your Tweets. Still, it gives brands and users more control over the toxicity in their feeds and provides healthier discussions for everyone involved.