Twitter Shakes Off the Cobwebs With New Product Plans


It also revamped its network, which had largely been built during Twitter’s early days, before modern cloud-computing services were widely available. The company is also experimenting with subscription products, like newsletters, that would help creators earn money on Twitter.

“That’s the shift Twitter is in right now: There are a lot of different things that Twitter is willing to try,” said Esther Crawford, a senior product manager at Twitter. Ms. Crawford co-founded the social video app Squad, which Twitter acquired in December. “People are actually in this moment of excitement around the experimentation that we’re doing.”

On Thursday, Twitter teased new features, like community groups and “Super Follows” that would allow users to subscribe to exclusive content from other tweeters. The subscription option could attract more influencers, who have become accustomed to earning revenue from their content on other platforms. Users who “Super Follow” an account could get a badge on their profile indicating their support and access to newsletters and other content behind a pay wall, Twitter said.

The new community groups, which Twitter expects to debut later in the year, would allow users to connect with others who share their interests. Communities could also set their own moderation rules, the company said. Twitter also said it would hire engineering teams in regions it plans to grow, like India and Africa.

Some of Twitter’s latest features are not available to all users, so it is hard to quantify their impact. But the company’s audience is growing. Twitter said it added more daily active users in January than it had on average for the previous four Januarys. And Twitter’s stock is higher than it’s been in years, and is up more than 100 percent from a year ago.

Last week, several Twitter designers held a Space to debate how the app should look. About 30 users listened in to what, before the pandemic, might have been a brainstorming session in a conference room at Twitter’s headquarters. On Wednesday, a group of Twitter engineers responsible for building the company’s Android app held another open meeting.

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