Twitter’s New Communities Feature Gives Laser-Eyed Bitcoin Bros and Dog Lovers a Space to Talk Among Themselves

Twitter Introduces Communities, a Facebook Groups Clone

For now, only Twitter users on iOS and desktop can access Communities through a dedicated tab, although Android users are able to read tweets posted to them. Regan wrote in the post that more functionality is “coming soon.”

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Twitter has long had a problem with rampant harassment and proliferation of toxic groups like white supremacists and Gamergate trolls across the site, so it’s natural to wonder whether Communities could be used to organize harassment campaigns. But private group DMs that would allow users to do so outside of public view already exist, and at least for now, Twitter is manually approving the the creation of Communities on a case-by-case basis.

The biggest ramification for Twitter will likely be that interest-based groups open up the company to more lucrative targeted advertising opportunities. As the Verge noted, Twitter has also struggled to retain new users and the new interest-based groups may help the company lure them into staying. For example, there could be Twitter Communities based around discussing a show like White Lotus or for Taylor Swift fans.

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Ever since CEO Jack Dorsey narrowly survived an attempted coup by vampiric hedge fund Elliot Management last March, the company seems to have internalized that it needs to make money and rapidly pivoted from maintaining a largely static experience for users to throwing crap at the wall to see what sticks. This has mostly taken the form of cloning popular features on other social media apps. In the past year, Twitter has rolled out Fleets, its version of the auto-deleting Stories feature ubiquitous on every other site; Spaces, a replica of audio chat app Clubhouse that now has paid ticketing; Super Follows, a Patreon-like service that allows users to charge for access to premium posts; and Twitter Blue, a subscription-based premium version of the app.

So far, it’s had mixed results. Of the above list, only Fleets and Spaces have had full-scale rollouts. Fleets proved to be utterly useless (according to Twitter’s head of product Ilya Brown, people mostly used it to promote tweets) and the company canned them in July. How successful Spaces has been is still unclear, but Clubhouse doesn’t seem to be doing so hot. Super Follows seems like the clearest path to success, but is as of yet only available on iOS.

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