Any change on Twitter seems to be viewed with particular suspicion by its users. More than those that can be given in any other social network. And it is that Twitter, while many times it is a place full of screams from which to flee, also seems to have become the favorite social network of those who actively use it. The problem for Twitter itself: they are few and do not have many options in which to spend money.
Compared with the more than 1,200 million active users that Instagram or TikTok have, or the mammoth inventory of 2,200 million (not so active, yes) that Facebook has, the 350 that Twitter moves through according to its latest updates seem rather little. And even more so when their attempts to monetize through advertising, although they work, do not seem to have established so much in the world of online ads.
Looking for ways for us to spend money on Twitter
That is why perhaps in the last year and a half we have seen Twitter transmute so much. In fact, we have seen her to present her stories (Fleets) and eliminate them. Added to this is the purchase of Revue to integrate a newsletter system, Spaces, its copy / plagiarism of Clubhose, Twitter Blue, its payment service that for $ 2.99 per month that allows us to undo tweets, SuperFollows, an integrated Patreon space, and finally Communities, something similar to subreddits where you can find spaces with only common themes.
Many of these new features are still in test mode, but they have two clear things in common: retain their users – something that is also trying to put more and more safeguards to avoid toxicity, such as the new ‘safe mode’ – and invite them to draw the checkbook. Both Revue -focused on monetizing the newsletter-, as SuperFollows or Blue are aimed at commissioning for providing services.
Twitter has been the great social network that has cost the most to be profitable. He achieved it in 2018, he did it again in 2019, and in 2020, due to the drop in publicity due to the pandemic, he returned to the red. All, while its users seemed to remain flat.
Up to now, Twitter has based 90% of its revenue on advertising and data processing and licensing used anonymously for consumer analysis.
So far in 2021, its revenues have increased by 74% as a rebound from the pandemic effect, and it will also begin to test how all its initiatives work. For now, among the data that we know is that SuperFollows achieved in its first two weeks after its launch in the United States about $ 6,000. For something one starts.
Returning to being a nice nest (or trying)
This challenge of maintaining profitability – which Jack Dorsey sometimes doesn’t seem to care too much about – is accompanied by return Twitter to a kind of Arcadia on the internet reminiscent of the forums. Without so much tension, insults and confrontation.
While we all wish you good luck with it, the first firm bet, Communities, directly attacks this problem.
One of the most studied concepts in sociology to understand why social networks to anger us is called collapse by context: that people with very different ideas, interests and tastes come together in the same space and also with a vocation to expose them.
To a large extent, this idea explains all the problems that have surrounded Twitter, which by remaining text-based, seems to be more promiscuous to tension.
But what if a version of Twitter could be built that would separate these contexts? That’s the idea behind the launch of Communities, a way to create semi-public groups where only members can participate in conversations accessed by invitation.
At the moment in tests for some users, Communities allows once within a group in which they talk about dogs, plants or whatever (a forum, as an idea) to tweet directly to other members instead of just their followers. Only members of a Community can “like” or reply to tweets posted by other members. That context of lost interest is recreated.
Like Facebook groups and Reddit subreddits, each Twitter Community will have its own moderators, who will be able to establish norms and invite or eliminate people. Twitter invited a handful of users to create the first Communities and will allow anyone to request to create their own on their website.
We’ll see if this eases the two challenges that Twitter faces. To once again offer us a friendly environment where people do not want to run away and, of course, with Communities he also manages to find a much more defined audience in which, it hurts Dorsey more or less, to exploit what is still his big business: advertising .