Twitter mimics Reddit with new moderator-led Communities

8 Sep 2021

Image: © natanaelginting/Stock.adobe.com

The Communities feature will enable select Twitter users to curate moderated invite-only spaces centred on specific interests.

Twitter is launching a new feature called Communities that will allow users with similar interests to connect with each other.

Existing Twitter communities – such as Irish Twitter, Black Twitter, Book Twitter, Crypto Twitter – will soon be able to exist as separate, moderated groups with contained tweets for focused conversation.

This means that when someone tweets in a community, only members of that community can reply. These tweets, however, will still be publicly visible on a community page and non-members will be able to read, retweet and report them.

The feature has been in the pipeline for months and the announcement was first made in a presentation to analysts and investors in February. It is testing now for web and iOS users with Android features still in development.

Each Community will have Twitter-approved moderators to make internal rules and set the tone for conversations. Twitter said that some of the first communities will be moderated by leading creators in each space. These moderators will be able to invite the people they want to join their community. They will also be able to designate other moderators to help.

Among the initial interests being tested include groups for dogs, weather, sneakers, skincare and astrology. In the coming months, more communities will be added and users interested in starting and moderating a new community will be able to notify Twitter of their interest.

Twitter has also set eligibility requirements for moderators that it will continue to refine through testing.

The move gives Twitter an offering similar to Reddit’s famous subreddit communities or Facebook’s groups feature. It could spell good news for new users on Twitter’s open-ended platform which makes it hard to tailor content initially.

Twitter is also currently trialling new autoblock and soft block features.

Last month, the social media platform rolled out a number of changes across its web interface and mobile apps, including the introduction of a proprietary font and more high contrast detailing. These UI changes were, however, widely criticised for causing confusion and even headaches, prompting Twitter to revisit its design decisions.

Additional reporting by Elaine Burke

Vish Gain is a journalist and copywriter with Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com