Twitter now began to roll out its Communities feature to a broader group of users. The social media company has experimented with various features to increase user engagement and platform growth. Still, it is also known to remove features on short notice in case they no longer want it. We tested the Twitter Communities feature out for you, and here are the results.
What is the new Twitter Communities feature about?
Twitter introduces a new kind of way to interact with the platform in a way that was previously not possible. Users can now explore communities based on certain interests and join them. Everything you post within the community also stays in that community, so unlike with trends or hashtags, any community contributions you post would not be visible in the normal Twitter feed of your followers. Twitter communities can be open without the need to have an admin approve you to join, or they can be restricted, with an admin giving their approval before you are allowed in.
The mechanics feel a bit like a mix of advanced Twitter lists or group DMs, yet more explorable for outsiders and more sophisticated as far as design and user experience goes. It reminds me a bit of Facebook/LinkedIn groups, Reddit, or even Discord as well, in which one could join servers based on interests or other types of communities.
Once a Twitter user joins a certain community, they can use an alternative view to browse only community-related tweets, rather than being mixed up with other posts from people they follow in their primary timeline view. Suppose you want to tweet or share something with a particular community. There is now a new dropdown value in the tweet editor, which lets you choose if you’re going to post to your timeline or to a particular community instead.
Twitter users can also create new communities for their interests in case they can’t find something they are looking for yet. They can then prepare rules, set up privacy controls, and write a name and description for the community, so everybody can easily understand what this group is about.
There are no fees to use Twitter Communities, and there is also no charge for creating and managing a new community, so everybody can give this a go in order to test this new social media feature out.
After a long time without meaningful additions to Twitter, this feature might be able to truly improve and support the user experience for many social media practitioners. I am curious to see how this will change the social dynamics of the platform and how it might affect the way many people use lists to browse various types of tweets.
I would imagine that the Twitter communities would work much better to filter on subjects and topics. Further, I believe that this user-moderated space helps to avoid the kind of spam that we often see in the hashtag feeds of Twitter. The communities have great potential, and creative people will surely turn this into interesting places.
YouTube: Future of Twitter, Communities, and More (Michael Stelzner and Madalyn Sklar, Social Media Examiner)
Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Viacheslav Yacobchuk.