The fast-moving digital world is never far away from another development, or controversy, and the last few weeks have been no different.

Here’s a round up of some of the latest news…

Twitter announces Super Follows and paid Tweets

Twitter recently announced two upcoming changes to its platform (although no timescale was put on these). The first change was a Super Follows feature which would allow users to charge followers for additional, exclusive content – such as a newsletter subscription, or a badge. It is the latest announcement from the main platforms regarding features that allow publishers to get paid directly from their fans, following Facebook’ Stars feature or Instagram Live badges– and monetisation will continue to be one of the key trends of the next couple of years.

The second feature announced, Communities, will allow users to create and join groups around specific interests (sound familiar Facebook fans?) and Twitter is hopeful this will encourage new users to the platform when it launches. Whether it does though remains to be seen, as does how these features impact existing usage. The fact that #RIPTwitter was trending hours after the announcement suggests that these changes are not what users want from Twitter. (Edit button anyone???)

Find out more about these changes here https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/25/22301375/twitter-super-follows-communities-paid-followers

A setback for Clubhouse?

In our previous round up, we looked at the rise of Clubhouse – the (currently invite only) audio only app that was attracting wide attention. Since then,Clubhouse has come under fire for a data ‘spillage’ that allowed a user to stream content from the app on their website, something that violates the terms and conditions of the app. Clubhouse have since banned the user and introduced new ‘safeguards’.

There is now a battle in hand for audio-based social networking. Twitter is, for once, ahead of Facebook in this area with the already available Twitter Spaces – and ,in fact, last week Twitter Spaces launched on Android, ahead of Clubhouse which remains iOS only.

Discover more about the rise of audio-only apps here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p097w8ct

Instagram makes room for a new feature

In response to the growth of apps such as Clubhouse (as well as the popularity of podcasts, and video calls), Instagram continues to add new features with the latest offering being Live Rooms. Live Rooms, which are yet to roll out globally, allow users to go live on Instagram with up to three other people in a stream – doubling the functionality which was previously limited to two people per live broadcast.

Instagram has this to say about what they called a ‘highly-requested update’: “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve seen people on Instagram embrace Live in different ways. In the past year, special moments have happened on Live, including informational talks about science and COVID-19 guidelines, interviews with celebrities and record-breaking rap battles. Creators of all kinds — from fitness instructors to musicians, beauty bloggers, chefs and activists, all relied on Live to create moments and bring people together to reach their communities in creative ways.”

Read more here: https://metro.co.uk/2021/03/05/what-are-instagram-live-rooms-and-how-do-i-set-one-up-14185280

And finally…

If you have a spare $2.5m why not bid on Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s first post: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-56307153

Yes that’s right, you can now ‘own’ Tweets via Valuables by Cent – receiving a digital certificate of the tweet, unique because it has been signed and verified by the creator.

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