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Twitter testing new Circle feature and possible charges on the horizon

Patrick Devaney

Published

Twitter can be a daunting place and sometimes you don’t hit the Tweet button because you are worried about the responses you’ll receive from everybody who follows you. This is an unfortunate reality that affects too many social media users and not just those on Twitter. Fortunately, however, Twitter seems to be testing a new feature that will give users the power to Tweet what they like without having to worry about the responses they’ll get from internet trolls.

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The Twitter Safety account, which posts updates about, “the latest safety tools, resources, and updates from Twitter”, has put out a new video demonstrating a new feature currently being tested called Twitter Circle. The new feature gives users the opportunity to create smaller groups for broadcasting messages that not everybody will be able to see.

Twitter testing new Circle feature and possible charges on the horizon

The feature, which seems to be going through A/B testing at the moment, meaning not everybody will be able to see it yet, brings back memories of an old Google+ feature that allowed you to curate your own groups for sharing information with.

As the feature is only being tested at the moment there is no guarantee it will receive a full rollout to all users, but it is definitely a feature that we hope catches on. Mental health is a real issue when it comes to social media use, and we fully support any initiative that gives users more control over the online matters that may affect it.

Musk teases Twitter charges

Ever since Elon Musk bought 9.2% of Twitter stock, the social network has not stopped trending. It all went even crazier when Musk announced his leveraged bid to acquire the network, which was then accepted by the board. Since that moment, there has been a constant stream of tweets and leaks from the billionaire himself, seemingly laying out his plans for his new expensive plaything. The latest of which will no doubt turn some heads.

Musk’s latest tweet calls for the introduction of a charge for commercial and government use. It reads, “Twitter will always be free for casual users, but maybe a slight cost for commercial/government users”. It is good news that Musk is seemingly safeguarding free use of the platform, but it does indicate that he is already feeling the pressure to increase profits at the social media giant. This shouldn’t come as any surprise, though. Musk is pushing through a deal to buy Twitter will lumber the company with an additional $13 billion worth of debt. This adds up to a staggering $1 billion a year worth of interest payments alone.

Yesterday we told you about Telegram’s plans to introduce a premium subscription in a bid to increase revenue, which contrasts with WhatsApp’s Business model that charges businesses to set up official communications channels with their customers and clients on the app. It seems that Musk is looking at WhatsApp’s model for Twitter too.

What’s interesting here, is Musk looking to charge governments to use Twitter. This would mean that the guy who famously calls out governments for not being able to allocate people’s capital as efficiently as billionaires like him is, in essence, looking to spend public money to pay off interest payments on his own debt.

With Musk’s official takeover now seemingly just around the corner, it will be interesting to see how he plans to implement his ideas about freedom of speech and making the Twitter algorithm open source. One upcoming new feature that we can already see, however, is the new Twitter edit Tweet button.

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