Twitter Features You Might Have Missed

Picture of Aliza ShermanAliza Sherman is a web pioneer, author, and international speaker. Sherman is the author of 8 books about the Internet including The Everything Blogging Book, Streetwise Ecommerce, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crowdsourcing and Social Media Engagement for Dummies.

Twitter Features You Might Have Missed

Like other popular social networks, Twitter’s changes over the years include a mixed bag of experimental features that didn’t always stick around, such as the latest casualty in the Fall of 2021: Fleets. Fleets were Twitter’s response to the popularity of Snapchat and Instagram Stories as well as TikTok and Instagram Reels, ephemeral content meaning they disappeared after 24 hours. Now they are gone for good.

Some Twitter feature changes caught on and are prominent, such as the change from a 140-character tweet limit to 280 characters. Other features are new or available, but you may not be using them. Twitter also recently announced some design changes to their web and mobile interfaces including reducing "visual clutter" with fewer gray backgrounds and divider lines, and increased space to make text easier to read.

Here are some Twitter features you may have missed and some that are rolling out.

TweetDeck - You may not remember this, but Twitter bought TweetDeck in 2011 for $40 million. What is it? TweetDeck is a way to easily monitor and manage multiple Twitter accounts - and it’s free to use. TweetDeck is similar to a social media dashboard like Hootsuite, letting you set up columns featuring different feed views such as the home feed, @ mentions, DMs, and custom searches so you can look at them all on one screen. If Twitter is your main social network, and particularly if you manage multiple Twitter accounts, you’ll most likely benefit from using TweetDeck.

Twitter Spaces - Here’s a newer Twitter feature that may or may not last: Spaces. This audio "room" feature is in response to the wild popularity of Clubhouse, an audio-based platform that lets you set up rooms where hosts and guests can hold conversations with or without an audience or listeners. To find the Spaces icon, first press and hold the Tweet compose button on mobile Twitter. Several icons should pop up. The Spaces icon consists of multiple circles that form a diamond shape.

You can add up to 10 speakers to your live or scheduled Space by inviting anyone on Twitter to speak. Anyone can join meaning Spaces are open to the public once you start one - unless you’ve blocked someone on Twitter. You have admin controls as the host of the Space and can mute people, add or remove guests, and block people. It remains to be seen if Twitter Spaces take off. If you podcast or love producing audio content and hosting conversations, Spaces could be useful to you. Otherwise, it may not be worth trying.

Twitter Blue - In the summer of 2021, Twitter began rolling out their first subscription-based service with premium features such as Bookmark Folders, Undo Tweet that lets you preview and edit your tweet, Reader Mode to streamline and clean up your Twitter feed, and dedicated customer support. The response has been mixed and may not yet be available in your area, however, the customer support feature could be worth the investment of what will most likely be about $1.20 or so per month.

Super Follows - Your Twitter account in the U.S. needs to qualify to get this feature. Super Follows lets you generate monthly revenue through paid subscriptions. Give your most engaged followers special access to bonus content and more exclusive engagement. Do a search for Super Follows to get Twitter’s list of minimum criteria (be over 18 years of age, have at least 10,000 followers, tweeting at least 25 times within the last 30 days), and application

As with any new social network feature or tool, first determine if you need to use it. If so, learn how it works and what it can do for you and your social media marketing efforts. Not all features are mission critical, however, knowing more about them can help you decide if you want to adopt them.