Twitter might not have got to use the handle they wanted
, but the Communities feature has gone live, looking to bring a little of the shared-interest vibe of Facebook Groups and Reddit to your Twitter feed.
Although Communities aren’t quite live yet, the initial response from Twitter users has been warm. Casey Newton argued that they could help bring context back
to the platform, letting you tweet freely about a topic to a likeminded audience, without worrying about random trolls taking your words out of context and starting distracting, pointless arguments.
I’m looking forward to giving Communities a try. In fact, a Geekout Community will be launching on Twitter very, very soon!
But because Communities have been bolted onto the ‘one big public conversation’ approach Twitter has used from the start, there’s potential for the feature to be a bit more confusing than using a Facebook Group or a subreddit.
It works like this: You join a community related to a topic you’re interested in. Tweets from that community then show up in your feed as well as in a separate Communities section of the app. And when you want to tweet only to that community, you select it in the tweet composer. Your tweet is then shown to other community members, rather than to all your followers.
Simple? Well, kind of. The tweets don’t show up for everyone by default, but Communities are public so non-members can still take a look at your community tweets if they go looking for them, they just won’t be able to interact with them.
With Super Follower and Communities tweets now rolling out, and the possibility of you being able to tweet different ‘facets
’ of your personality and interests—or just to your most trusted friends—in the future, Twitter is becoming a far more complicated product where it might become difficult to remember what you tweeted to whom, and who can read or reply to which tweets.
Twitter desperately needed ways to fix the noisy mess it had become for many users, but let’s just hope those ways don’t spoil the simplicity that makes the service so compelling to so many people.