The Twitter business model has stayed relatively the same since its conception in 2007- its longest-lasting update has been increasing the character count of a tweet. In the past year, Twitter launched “Super Followers,” “Fleets,” “Twitter Blue,” “Tip Jar,” “The Shop Module,” “Spaces,” and more.
Recently, Spaces has appeared to foster live, audio conversations between Twitter users. Anyone with over 600 followers can start a Space and host conversations with a public audience. Arguably, the most recognizable of all of these ventures, Fleets, is due to its failure as the feature did not even last a year on the platform.
Fleets were Twitter’s take on Instagram’s popular “stories” feature but, due to the textual nature of the platform, the visual connotations of stories were not utilized by users. The feature was an attempt to get more users to be active on the platform by creating their content instead of passively consuming (retweeting) content from other accounts.
With a new CEO in place, it’s no surprise that Twitter will continue to test new features on its platform, but with so many notable failed ventures, the question of “why?” still stands.
Twitter’s Vice President of Product, Ilya Brown, argues, “If we’re not evolving our approach and winding down features every once in a while – we’re not taking big enough chances. We’ll continue to build new ways to participate in conversations, listening to feedback and changing direction when there may be a better way to serve people using Twitter” (The Verge, 2021).
Twitter is a platform that prioritizes perseverance and problem-solving. When it comes to platforms, do you prefer the same ol’ same ol’, or do you like the latest and greatest features?