Twitter 2021 recap: Twitter has released its 2021 recap, giving us a glimpse into the major decisions they’ve made about adding (and removing) features from the platform. The year saw many features added through the micro-blogging site and some of them were removed. Monetization features announced, as well as Spaces – Twitter’s response to Clubhouse. Meanwhile, Twitter has removed Periscope as well as Fleets. Let’s take a look at what 2021 means for Twitter!
Twitter features added in 2021
The microblogging site has launched a feature called Birdwatch, which is still in the testing phase on both Android and iOS. The feature is intended to allow users to add helpful notes to posts that may be misleading. It’s a collaborative feature, and people involved in the beta phase can put in potentially useful context regarding the Tweet for other users to see so that misinformation can be countered. A separate Birdwatch Meaning section has been added for this on Twitter.
Apart from this, Spaces was launched by Twitter, the long-awaited competitor to Clubhouse. This feature built into the platform allows multiple users to have live audio conversations on Twitter, and Spaces is now also looking to have an audio broadcast-like feature to allow users to listen to recordings of discussions.
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Tips have also been added on Twitter, where users through their favorite Twitter accounts can support them. The platform allows users to pay tips using gateways like PayPal, Razorpay, etc., and in September it also allowed users to pay with Bitcoin.
But what has attracted a lot of attention this year is the return of account verification! Twitter has launched a new verification app with users across six categories who will be able to earn a verification badge on the site.
The company also launched Twitter Blue. It is a subscription service that allows users who pay a subscription fee to access some premium features like the ability to undo tweets and read some news articles without ads, etc.
Ticketed Spaces has also been rolled out by Twitter to allow creators to make revenue from their live audio rooms, and to charge a ticket price from those who want to tune in to the room.
The Twitter misinformation labels were also updated this year with a new design label that provides more context to users as to why a tweet is misleading.
While Twitter Blue is a subscription service to increase Twitter revenue, the platform has also published Super Follows to provide content providers with their own subscriptions. Super Follows allows users to provide premium content to users who choose to pay a subscription fee to the content creator.
The automatic captions were also rolled out by Twitter this month to support 37 languages. However, since the platform has not yet published the subtitle feature, the captions appear in the language of the device from which the video was posted. These captions automatically appear on muted videos on Android and iOS devices, and desktop users on the other hand can turn them on and off.
Twitter also acquired a Revue service this year to allow writers to easily distribute their work on Twitter by starting to publish editorial newsletters.
Features that Twitter removed in 2021
While a lot happened on Twitter in terms of new features and improved user experience in 2021, Twitter also had to give up some features.
The first is Periscope, which closed in March of this year. Twitter bought Periscope in 2015, but over the past few years, use of the feature has been declining constantly while it still required a high support cost.
The automatic cropping feature has also been discontinued for good. With this feature gone, Twitter no longer clips an image in the Tweet displayed on the user’s timeline, giving them a proper view of the image. This means that instead of cropping the image to a certain ratio in the timeline width tweet, the image is shrunk to an appropriate aspect ratio so that the entire image appears smaller with the tweet.
Fleets, similar to Instagram Stories, launched in 2020. It worked the same way and appeared in the same place on the timeline as it does on Instagram. However, the feature failed to take off, and so, in August, Twitter pulled the plug and let it go for good.
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