There's been talk of Twitter Blue for a while now: a subscription offering for Twitter power users that give them more features and a better experience on the platform.
There's a lot going on here, like Undo Tweet or Top Article (I imagine Nuzzel inside Twitter, which is exciting) but I think that Thread Mode deserves the highlight.
I'm not surprised threads are getting more attention. In many ways, they're becoming the new blog posts.
Creators that want to make long-form content on Twitter increasingly choose threads instead of linking out to other platforms.
Why? Just linking to a blog post creates a funnel. Some people will click the link, some will drop if the loading time is more than half a second, some will just skim the first few paragraphs.
Threads, instead, create direct engagement inside the platform even when they're made of tens of tweets, and that engagement often translated into new followers.
Some of the best creators out there even use threads as a sort of playground to then publish proper blog posts.
Network effects and feedback loops mean that creators writing quality threads with real value are able to grow their audience crazy fast on Twitter.
Unfortunately, until now, threads have also been kinda hard to consume.
Sometimes you don't catch the first tweet in your timeline, but you're dropped in the middle of it. Very long threads are cut and not all users know they have to tap a little "See more replies" button to keep reading the whole thing. And in general, threads kept feeling like the sort of feature that is hacked together by users.
Well, until now.
With its Blue subscription, Twitter is finally embracing threads, and the first step is giving them a proper reading experience.
This might translate is more engagement, and also an incentive for creators to use this format.
I also see some possible issues:
- What if this "Thread Mode" lowers engagement on the individual tweets?
- What if this makes threads, which are now living beings that sometimes branch out in multiple directions, become more static, like good old blog posts, making them less unique and interesting?
- What if this promotes quickly skimming content, instead of reading one tweet at a time, which is something that the current UI (inadvertently) promotes?
We'll have to live and see, but if I have to be honest, I hope to see Twitter embracing this format entirely, and find clever ways to help users experience it without compromising its unique characteristics.
In the meantime, we'll keep working on making Typefully the best tool out there to craft quality threads, schedule them, and track their performance.