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The Next Fleets? Are Twitter’s New ‘Communities’ Doomed To Fail – Screen Rant

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Twitter’s latest attempt to boost engagement are communities, but they could make things weirdly complicated and ultimately end up like Fleets did.

Twitter‘s latest experiment is Communities, a project that aims to achieve what Groups have for Facebook and how subreddits operate on the self-proclaimed front page of the internet. However, this is not the company’s first attempt at a feature that replicates a community-driven experience. Back in 2016, Twitter’s team in India was working on a project that aimed to rope in influencers and allow them to create groups of interest within a standalone messaging app. Twitter pulled the plug on this idea before it saw the light of the day. That wasn’t the only attempt by the company that started with the core idea of ‘short status updates and random musings in 140 characters’ either. Fleets — Twitter’s own take on Snapchat and Instagram’s ephemeral stories — rode into the sunset a few weeks ago.

Inspired by the boom in social media-driven commerce, Twitter is currently testing a shop module. However, back in 2017, Twitter removed the “Buy” buttons from its platform, its very first ambitious take on social media shopping. Twitter’s quarterly calls have often highlighted lack of content as one of the reasons it is missing out on engagement yet it snuffed two potential recipes for success — Moments and Vine — in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Failed experiments are not necessarily bad, as they are a sign that a company is willing to adapt and evolve.

In the case of Communities, it’s not just about trying a misfit feature and quickly shutting it down if it fails. Communities actually go against the very nature of Twitter and how it is perceived by users. The rules are simple — users can join a community, and anything they say will remain in the community. In other words, posts won’t be broadcast to all their followers and users can gossip about a topic they’re passionate about. Of course, the chatter going on in a community will still be open for everyone to see and enjoy, or get offended and report. A community-driven approach to moderation is going to be the key here, but the formula hasn’t really yielded effective results on Reddit or Facebook Groups.

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Twitter Communities Follows A Flawed Trajectory

Twitter Communities Are Doomed To Fail Like Fleets

Twitter is no stranger to the problem, and with Communities, it might be biting more than it can chew. Tools like Birdwatch can help curb misinformation, but they won’t be particularly effective in a community brimming with bad content that easily evades Twitter’s AI-driven moderation system. Adding live audio chatrooms with Spaces only worsens the problem. That’s just the beginning. While what one says in a community will stay in the community, that sounds very similar to the exclusive tweets that only Super Followers can see. Essentially, there are now four types of tweets — public, community, paid, and archived. Needless to say, keeping a tab on them is going to be a task for everyone involved.

imagine an alternate timeline where everyone just gets you

say hi to Communities—the place to connect with people who Tweet like you. testing now on iOS and web, Android soon! pic.twitter.com/TJdKwUa4D2

— Twitter Communities (@JoinCommunities) September 8, 2021

Twitter is best when it is being itself, and deviating too much from its core appeal will likely result in more struggles than successes. For a platform where a blue tick and high engagement are signs of clout, it makes little sense for an influential person to flex in a community, as their content won’t appear to their followers in the first place. The only option is to Tweet something publicly and then copy-paste it in a community chat as well. Alternatively, if users with some sway by ignoring a community and going solo on the road to Twitter fame, they risk alienating themselves from a community of like-minded people where they are more likely to find popularity.

There’s also the issue of moderation. Moderators will set rules to keep things civil, but there are two interlinked challenges to creating a community in the first place. Right now, Twitter is the sole authority that decides whether an application to start a community is accepted or rejected and this is no easy task. If Twitter stands by its motto of promoting free speech, it won’t be long before the Communities become a hotbed of toxic debate from all sides of an ideology. The same fate awaits if the company allows everyone to create a community, even if it sets certain ‘notability’ criteria for a person before creating one. If Twitter remains the supreme authority when it comes to accepting or rejecting communities, it will be accused of taking sides or stifling free speech.

Then there’s the average Twitter user. For those who still see Twitter as a platform where they can say what’s on their mind in under 240 characters, Communities will be of little to no allure. Another sizeable chunk belongs to users who just follow a few accounts to keep up with what’s happening. Jumping into the rabbit hole of a Communities chat will be of little interest to them as well. For those who really want that experience, Reddit and Facebook Groups already exist and are likely better options with a larger number of users. Not to mention, they don’t impose a 240-character limit either. A Twitter group about NFT ninjas, stock bros, or meme-makers will drive engagement, but it will ultimately be limited to enthusiasts. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Fleets walked the same path and perished.

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Next: Twitter Wants You To Tweet More, And Hopes New Privacy Features Will Help

Source: Twitter

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Nadeem Sarwar
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Nadeem has been writing about consumer technology for over three years now, having worked with names such as NDTV and Pocketnow in the past. Aside from covering the latest news, he also has experience testing out the latest phones and laptops.
When he’s not writing, you can find him failing at Doom eternal.

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TWITTER

Elon Musk Says He’ll Pay $11 Billion in Taxes in 2021 But Twitter Wants ‘Proof’

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Elon Musk took to Twitter to clarify once and for all that he will be paying a whopping $11 billion as taxes this year.

If the number of times Elon Musk could count when someone has asked him to pay the full taxes, he would be a very rich..wait, never mind. The Tesla boss is rich beyond any private individual has been in history, reports said.

Musk has increasingly been facing criticism from many politicians and many others who insist he has not been paying taxes as compared to the profits his companies have been making. On Sunday, the SpaceX CEO took to Twitter to share that he will be paying a whopping $11 billion as taxes.

For those wondering, I will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2021

But some of the questions did not stop. One person tweeted how they needed to see Musk’s tax returns while yet another asked how much percentage was that of his total income.

A few were, however scathing of the government who thought they will add that amount to their pockets rather than using it for some proper development.

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Wow that’s enough to give each person in the world almost $2 million but instead the government will just stick it in their pockets— greg (@greg16676935420) December 20, 2021

Why not $200 billion? Asking for a Senator— litquidity (@litcapital) December 20, 2021

Earlier this week, Democratic US Senator Elizabeth Warren has tweeted to say that Musk should pay taxes and stop “freeloading off everyone else” after Time magazine named him its “person of the year”.

In response, Musk shot four tweets in which he said that the senator reminded him of a friend’s angry mom who yelled at everybody. He tweeted, ““And if you opened your eyes for 2 seconds, you would realize I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year.” “Don’t spend it all at once … oh wait you did already.”

He added further, “You remind me of when I was a kid and my friend’s angry Mom would just randomly yell at everyone for no reason.”

Musk responded by saying that he “will pay more taxes than any American in history this year”. This Twitter exchange left netizens divided as even though many supported Warren and agreed that Musk should pay more taxes, others felt that he was already doing enough.

Musk’s Tesla is worth about $1 trillion. Over the last few weeks, he has sold nearly $14 billion worth of Tesla shares.

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The Tesla boss has been pushing for his colonize Mars agenda for years now, and has made it very clear in some occasions that he would rather spend the money on putting humanity on the red planet, than pay his taxes. “My plan,” the SpaceX founder tweeted about his fortune, “is to use the money to get humanity to Mars and preserve the light of consciousness.”

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TWITTER

Twitter Admits Policy ‘Errors’ After Far-Right Abuse Its New Rules of Posting Pictures

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Twitter’s new picture permission policy was aimed at combating online abuse, but US activists and researchers said Friday that far-right backers have employed it to protect themselves from scrutiny and to harass opponents.

Even the social network admitted the rollout of the rules, which say anyone can ask Twitter to take down images of themselves posted without their consent, was marred by malicious reports and its teams’ own errors.

It was just the kind of trouble anti-racism advocates worried was coming after the policy was announced this week.

Their concerns were quickly validated, with anti-extremism researcher Kristofer Goldsmith tweeting a screenshot of a far-right call-to-action circulating on Telegram: “Due to the new privacy policy at Twitter, things now unexpectedly work more in our favor.”

“Anyone with a Twitter account should be reporting doxxing posts from the following accounts,” the message said, with a list of dozens of Twitter handles.

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Gwen Snyder, an organizer and researcher in Philadelphia, said her account was blocked this week after a report to Twitter about a series of 2019 photos she said showed a local political candidate at a march organized by extreme-right group Proud Boys.

Rather than go through an appeal with Twitter she opted to delete the images and alert others to what was happening.

“Twitter moving to eliminate (my) work from their platform is incredibly dangerous and is going to enable and embolden fascists,” she told AFP.

In announcing the privacy policy on Tuesday, Twitter noted that “sharing personal media, such as images or videos, can potentially violate a person’s privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm.”

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But the rules don’t apply to “public figures or individuals when media and accompanying Tweets are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse.”

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By Friday, Twitter noted the roll out had been rough: “We became aware of a significant amount of coordinated and malicious reports, and unfortunately, our enforcement teams made several errors.”

“We’ve corrected those errors and are undergoing an internal review to make certain that this policy is used as intended,” the firm added.

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TWITTER

Jack Dorsey Post Twitter Is Chasing His Crypto, Fintech Dream

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At a packed Miami conference in June, Jack Dorsey, mused in front of thousands of attendees about where his real passion lay: “If I weren’t at Square or Twitter, I’d be working on Bitcoin.”

On Monday, Dorsey made good on one part of that, announcing he would leave Twitter for the second time, handing the CEO position to a 10-year veteran at the firm. The 45-year-old entrepreneur, who is often described as an enigma with varied interests from meditation to yoga to fashion design, plans to pursue his passion which include focusing on running Square and doing more philanthropic work, according to a source familiar with his plan.

Well before the surprise news, Dorsey had laid the groundwork for his next chapter, seeding both companies with cryptocurrency-related projects.

Underlying Dorsey’s broader vision is the principle of “decentralisation,” or the idea that technology and finance should not be concentrated among a handful of gatekeepers, as it is now, but should, instead, be steered by the hands of the many, either people or entities.

The concept has played out at Square, which has built a division devoted to working on projects and awarding grants with the aim of growing Bitcoin’s popularity globally. Bitcoin price in India stood at Rs. 44.52 lakh as of 12:50pm IST on December 1.

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Dorsey has been a longtime proponent of Bitcoin, and the appeal is that the cryptocurrency will allow for private and secure transactions with the value of Bitcoin unrelated to any government.

The idea has also underpinned new projects at Twitter, where Dorsey tapped a top lieutenant – and now the company’s new CEO Parag Agrawal – to oversee a team that is attempting to construct a decentralised social media protocol, which will allow different social platforms to connect with one another, similar to the way email providers operate.

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The project called Bluesky will aim to allow users control over the types of content they see online, removing the “burden” on companies like Twitter to enforce a global policy to fight abuse or misleading information, Dorsey said in 2019 when he announced Bluesky.

Bitcoin has also figured prominently at both of his companies. Square became one of the first public companies to own Bitcoin assets on its balance sheet, having invested $220 million (roughly Rs. 1,650 crore) in the cryptocurrency.

In August, Square created a new business unit called TBD to focus on Bitcoin. The company is also planning to build a hardware wallet for Bitcoin, a Bitcoin mining system, as well as a decentralised Bitcoin exchange.

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Twitter allows users to tip their favourite content creators with Bitcoin and has been testing integrations with non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a type of digital asset that allows people to collect unique digital art.

Analysts see the transition as a positive signal for Square, the fintech platform he co-founded in 2009. Square’s core Cash App, after a bull run in its share in 2020, has experienced slower growth in the most recent quarter. It is also trying to digest the $29 billion (roughly Rs. 2,17,240 crore) acquisition of Buy Now Pay Later provider Afterpay, its largest acquisition ever.

But these ambitions will not pay off until years from now, analysts cautioned.

“The blockchain platform they’re trying to develop is great but also fraught with technical challenges and difficult to scale for consumers. I think he’ll focus more on Square and crypto will be part of that,” said Christopher Brendler, an analyst at DA Davidson.

See also  Twitter Tests Improvements to Tweets With Photos & Video

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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