Twitter in 2021: From Spaces to Twitter Blue, top features that made headlines

Let’s take a look at what 2021 meant for Twitter!

twitter in 2021, twitter features
While a lot happened on Twitter in terms of new features and enhanced user experience in 2021, Twitter also had to let go of some features.

Twitter 2021 recap: Twitter has released its recap for the year 2021, giving us a glimpse of the key decisions it took regarding the addition (and removal) of features from the platform. The year saw many features being added by the microblogging site and some even being removed. Monetisation features were announced, and so was Spaces – Twitter’s answer to Clubhouse. Meanwhile, Twitter removed Periscope as well as Fleets. Let’s take a look at what 2021 meant for Twitter!

Twitter features added in 2021

The microblogging site launched a feature called Birdwatch, which is still in the testing stage on both Android and iOS. The feature is meant to allow users to add helpful notes to posts that might be misleading. It is a collaborative feature, and people who are involved in the pilot stage can put out context that might be helpful in relation to the tweet for other users to see so that misinformation can be countered. A separate section viz Birdwatch has been added for this in Twitter.

Apart from this, the much-anticipated competitor to Clubhouse, Spaces was launched by Twitter. Built into the platform, the feature lets multiple users hold live audio conversations on Twitter, with Spaces now also looking to get a podcast-like feature to let users listen to recordings of discussions.

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Tips was also added on Twitter, using which users can tip their favourite Twitter accounts to support them. The platform allows users to pay tips using gateways like PayPal, Razorpay, etc, and in September, it also allowed users to pay using Bitcoin.

What grabbed a lot of attention this year, however, was the return of the account verification! Twitter launched a new verification application using which users across six categories would be able to seek the verification badge on the site.

Twitter Blue was also launched by the company. It is a subscription service which would allow users who pay a subscription fee access some premium features like the ability to undo tweets and read some news articles without the ads, etc.

Ticketed Spaces was also rolled out by Twitter to let creators earn revenue from their live audio rooms, charging a ticket price from those who wish to tune into the room.

Misinformation labels were also updated on Twitter this year with a new design label providing more context to users as to why a tweet might be misleading.

While Twitter Blue is a subscription service for increasing Twitter’s revenue, the platform also rolled out Super Follows to provide content providers with their own subscriptions. Super Follows allows users to offer premium content to users who choose to pay a subscription fee to the creator.

Automatic captions have also been rolled out by Twitter this month to support 37 languages. However, since the platform has not yet made the translation feature live, captions come on in the language of the device from which the video was posted. These captions show up automatically on videos that are muted on Android as well as iOS devices, and desktop users on the other hand can switch them on and off.

Revue service was also acquired by Twitter this year to allow writers to distribute their work on Twitter easily by starting and publishing editorial newsletters.

Features that Twitter removed in 2021

While a lot happened on Twitter in terms of new features and enhanced user experience in 2021, Twitter also had to let go of some features.

The first among them is Periscope, which was shut down in March this year. Twitter had bought Periscope in 2015, but over the past few years, the feature’s usage was continuously declining while it still needed a high supporting cost.

Auto-crop feature was also done away with for good. With this feature gone, Twitter no longer cropped a picture in the tweet displayed on a user’s timeline, giving them a proper view of the image. This means that instead of a picture being cropped to a particular ratio in the timeline display tweet, the picture shrinks to a suitable aspect ratio so that the entire picture is visible in a smaller form with the tweet.

Fleets, similar to Instagram Stories, was launched in 2020. It worked the same way and appeared at the same place on the timeline as it does on Instagram. However, the feature failed to take off, and so, come August, Twitter pulled the plug on it and let it go for good.

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