Twitter Is Innovation Station All of a Sudden! [Content Made Simple]

Issue #237: A couple of new Twitter feature tests, Blues Clues nostalgia, and more.

Twitter Exploring Interest-Based Feeds Beyond the Standard Timeline



Twitter is a useful place for following breaking news and keeping up with what the people you’re already interested in are doing, but its relative dearth of discovery features and a lack of organized community spaces make it pretty hard to connect with anyone you aren’t actively seeking out.

The company is thinking about changing that. Twitter is on a tear with new features lately and its latest experiment, called Communities, is designed to make it easier to connect around shared interests. Users will be able to join these new social hubs and tweet directly to other people with shared interests rather than their regular group of followers. Those tweets will still be public, but replies will be limited to other community members.


For years, literally for the 15 years the company has been in existence, Twitter has been the least innovative social media platform among the top five or six that established the social internet as we know it today. I am 100% serious when I say that I think we have seen more innovative features announced by Twitter in the last month than we have in the last five years.

Anyway, Twitter is looking to get into some Reddit-like spaces, it seems. And more as you’ll see in the first link below.


Link #1: Twitter Launches Live Test of New Option to Remove Specific Followers

So much innovation at Twitter lately! I’m a big fan of this new feature they’re testing. Could be super helpful for people who get harassed, etc.

Twitter also pointed to the option in its recent overview of coming control tools, which will also likely include options to archive your old tweets, remove yourself from a tweet discussion and hide your likes.

The broader focus is on providing more ways for users to manage their in-app interactions, and avoid unwanted engagement, with Twitter also adding a new ‘Safety Mode’ option last week that enables users to automatically block mass-mentions of their account, which provides a means to avoid tweet pile-ons and ‘Cancel Culture’ impacts.

Link #2: First Host of ‘Blue’s Clues’ Returns, Striking a Chord With Grown-Ups

I came across the Nick Jr. tweet the other day because my brother shared it, and I still remember the amazing Blue’s Clues birthday party my mom threw for him when we were kids. It’s great content. Steve’s story is a good one if you can find the few interviews he’s given in the last number of years about how Blue’s Clues changed his life. Here is a really profound, if slightly racy, story he told with The Moth in 2011.

As “Blue’s Clues” grew in popularity, reaching more than 14 million viewers each week at one point during his tenure, Mr. Burns also began experiencing what he described as an identity crisis.

“I was starting to really seriously think, as great as this is, they might have the wrong guy here, maybe this should be a teacher or a child development specialist or something,” he said.

Link #3: How a GameStonk YouTuber Is Shaking Up the California Recall

I don’t know anything about the California recall, and I honestly can’t think of a subject that I care about less right now. BUT, I share this article because I think it’s a great example of the consequences of the virtual world spilling over into the physical world.

WalkingWalking up to a podium in San Francisco this summer, Kevin Paffrath grabs the microphone. “Hodl that AMC,” he says with a smile, gazing out at the few dozen or so people, predominantly young men, attending the rally, a reference to the “meme stock” moment from earlier this year.

Paffrath, better known as MeetKevin on YouTube, is running to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom in California’s recall election this month. It’s rare that a gubernatorial candidate would lead off a speech with such a painfully online reference, but that’s part of Paffrath’s appeal. He’s branded himself as the candidate for the r/wallstreetbets crowd — and so far, it’s working. As of publication, he’s the top polling Democrat at 8 percent.


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