Twitter teases new features for groups, tipping and ‘super follows’

The company wants to allows influencers to be paid by their followers.

Twitter plans to start testing several new features that could dramatically change how its users interact on its platform. During its analyst day presentation, the company previewed a number of new features, including communities, tipping and an account subscription feature called “super follows.”

Communities is a Facebook groups-like feature that will allow Twitter users to come together based on their interests. “We're working to create a product experience that makes it easier for people to form, discover, and participate in conversations that are more targeted to the relevant communities or geographies they’re interested in,” Twitter wrote in a slide.

A preview for Twitter's communities feature.

The company described the feature as an extension of its work around topics, which lets users follow accounts and tweets based on their interests. Twitter Product Lead Kayvon Beykpour said that communities would also be able to set and enforce their own rules “above and beyond our terms of service.”

Twitter also said it’s “exploring” features geared more toward influencers and creators who want to monetize their Twitter following, including tipping and “super follows.” The company didn’t provide details on how tipping may work, but Twitter’s Head of Design and Research, Dantley Davis, suggested the feature was related to the company’s move into longform content and subscription following its acquisition of newsletter company Revue.

Twitter's super follows feature.

“We see other impactful opportunities provide monetary incentive models that allow creators and publishers on Twitter to be directly supported by their articles, they'll see us explore solutions for tipping and account subscriptions through super follows,” Davis said.

According to images shared by Twitter, super follows would provide users with access to newsletters, special badges and other “exclusive content.” Creators could also set tweets so that only people who have paid for “super follows” can reply. “We’re rethinking incentives and exploring solutions to provide monetary incentive models for Creators and Publishers to be directly supported by their audience,” Twitter wrote in its presentation.

The company didn't indicate when it would start testing any of these features, or when they could launch. But Beykpour noted that the company has dramatically increased the speed with which it's released new features over the last couple years. "We've been evolving the product in more transformational ways, solving bigger problems for our customers, and moving way faster than we had before," he said.