Twitter targets creators, Clubhouse security, Spotify's plans for paid podcasts
My latest on TechCrunch, week of Feb. 27, 2021
Twitter over the years has been slow to roll out new features that dramatically impact its platform -- even going so far at one time to build an entirely separate app just to test a new way to link together conversation threads. Its slow momentum and failure to build features users actually want, like an edit button, has left Twitter feeling a lot like the same experience it was in its earlier years -- a public SMS of sorts (albeit one with more utilities for tweet discovery and management.)
This has also contributed slow user growth, which opened up Twitter last year to pressure from activist investors to oust CEO Jack Dorsey, who was then planning to move to Africa, while also still running Square. (He decided not to go because of the pandemic...and, well, to keep his job, we'd guess.) Following this more intensive scrutiny of Twitter's operations, the company in recent months has begun to speed things up on the product front.
Last year, it rolled out a stories-like feature called Fleets to its global audience, offering a place for more ephemeral content to live on its platform. It began development on a Clubhouse rival, Twitter Spaces, which is surging ahead with updates and new features. And it's working on a community-led misinformation debunking effort, Birdwatch.
Twitter has also began to make a series of acquisitions to build out its product teams, with additions like social app Squad, stories template maker Chroma Labs and podcasting app Breaker. And more recently, it bought newsletter platform Revue, which is already integrated on the Twitter website.
And it's not done. This week, Twitter announced even more new products were in the works.
One, a new product called "Super Follow,"….