Shares in social media leviathan Twitter opened approximately 8 percent higher on Thursday, Feb. 24 on anticipations of big news being shared during the company’s 2021 Analyst Day.
Expectations were met as Twitter revealed it intends to make a great leap forward by Q4 2023, doubling both its development output and monetizable daily users (mDAU) from 152 million in Q4 2019 to 315 million. Twitter also set a target to double 2020 revenue of $3.7 billion to $7.5 billion in the same time period, according to SEC filings.
The company has been flying high recently, gaining more than $16 billion in value since leading the vanguard in the cancellation and censorship of Donald Trump after the Capitol Building riots on Jan. 6. According to Bloomberg, analyst Michael Levine said during an earnings call earlier in the week that executives were feeling good about themselves and “led with a swagger and a confidence we have not see[n] in some time.”
Twitter, a company whose business model heavily relies on monetization through a combination of selling API access to business accounts for various automated posting and data analysis reasons and direct advertising, intends to begin to offer premium features to retail customers in the form of “Super Follows,” which would have viewers pay a subscription for exclusive, premium content, supporter badges, and newsletters in a similar fashion to social media fellows Twitch and Youtube’s subscription model.
“Microcommunities” are another feature the platform intends to install. Similar in principle to Reddit’s subReddits, the feature would create spaces for users to join on common interests of their choosing, with community organizers being able to set and enforce their own moderation and content policies above and beyond Twitter’s.
In addition, a “Safety Mode” feature was revealed as an option, which would be user activatable. It appears to grant human accounts the ability to shield themselves within a safe space should they be subject to a flame war from other users during interaction on the platform. A screenshot displayed defines the function of the feature: “Automatically block accounts that appear to break the Twitter Rules, and mute accounts that might be using insults, name-calling, strong language, or hateful remarks.”
The company also intends to scale up its recently implemented “Birdwatch” fact-checking platform, which it describes as a “community-based approach to misinformation.”
“While our work in labeling misleading information started with a Twitter-led effort to label tweets, Birdwatch is a more scalable, Wikipedia-like model where an open community of contributors can collectively determine when context should be added to a tweet and what that context should say,” said Twitter Product Lead Kayvon Beykpour in a question and answer session during Analyst Day.