3rd September 2021
Twitter has announced a trial of a new ‘Safety Mode’ to automatically block abusive users and at the same time launched ‘Super Follows’, allowing select users to charge followers a subscription fee for some content.
Twitter announced this week that it is trialling a new anti-trolling ‘Safety Mode’ feature that will automatically block accounts sending abuse to users to help reduce disruptive interactions on the platform. When the feature is turned on in a user’s settings, it will use automated technology to look at the content of the tweet and “the relationship between the Tweet author and replier” to determine if the block is justified. If it detects a user using potentially harmful language or sending repetitive and uninvited replies or mentions, it will block the user for seven days.
The ‘Safety Mode’ feature will be trialled initially with a small group of users with an emphasis on female journalists and members of marginalised communities.
Jarrod Doherty a senior product manager at Twitter said: “we want you to enjoy healthy conversations so this test is one way we’re limiting overwhelming and unwelcome interactions that can interrupt those conversations”. He also said that said the feature would undergo changes based on feedback from the test group before being introduced to the site’s more than 200 million active users: “We’ll observe how safety mode is working and incorporate improvements and adjustments before bringing it to everyone on Twitter.”
Also this week, Twitter started rolling out its new ‘Super Follows’ subscription feature that will allow creators to charge their followers for exclusive content. Creators can set monthly rates of $2.99, $4.99, or $9.99 a month for this bonus content and Twitter says users can earn up to 97% of subscription revenue after third-party fees. Paid subscribers will be identified with a special ‘Super Follower’ badge which shows up in replies and will provide the user the ability to join conversations that only other ‘Super Follower’ subscribers can see and reply to.
The feature is only currently available for iOS users in the USA and Canada for an initial test group, though the company plans to roll the feature out on iOS in more countries and on Android and the web platform soon. Twitter also says it plans to add newsletters, anonymous subscriptions, exclusive Spaces and Patreon-like subscription tiers to Super Follows.
This latest example of monetization for creators follows the recently launched tip jar feature, ticketed Spaces, a shopping section and a newsletter subscription button.
Safety mode is another step towards managing abuse on the platform, something that continues to be a major problem for Twitter and follows other recent features including hiding replies, letting people limit who can reply to their posts and showing a warning before you tweet a potentially harmful reply. With the Super Follows feature, Twitter is looking to offer more ways for engaged creators to monetize their content to keep them on the platform, especially as the battle for creators hots up with other social media platforms.