2023 Twitter Updates, New Features, Stories & Product News

Below are the latest features, product updates, and Twitter news stories. Updated: Aug 23, 2023

2023 Twitter News, Features and Product Updates

X Revamps Link Previews, Potentially Impacting Posting Strategies: X is set to alter the way link previews are displayed in its stream, removing the headline and preview text and retaining only the header image. This change, driven by Elon Musk, aims to improve the platform’s aesthetics and reduce the space link tweets occupy in-stream. The new format is expected to deter users from relying on article links to convey information, pushing them to create X-specific posts. While this move is intended to combat clickbait and encourage more direct posting to the app, it has been met with skepticism, especially among journalists. Many believe this change and Musk’s frequent criticisms of the media might push journalists to reduce their reliance on X. The platform’s value as a news source is attributed to its popularity with journalists, and any decline in its activity could significantly impact X’s influence.

X Entices SMBs with $250 Ad Credits: To regain advertisers’ trust, X offers a promotional deal where small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) receive a $250 ad credit if they spend $1,000 on X ads within the next month. This move appears to react to the platform’s declining ad revenue since Elon Musk’s acquisition, with X losing about 50% of its ad revenue. Many advertisers remain skeptical despite claims from X’s CEO, Linda Yaccarino, that the company is nearing a break-even point and that the rebranding has been well-received. A recent poll revealed that 87% of participants have no intention of using X ads. The platform’s credibility has been further questioned due to misleading statements about its ad system and past features. The promotional ad credits are valid until December 31st, 2023, and can only be used for purchasing X Ads.

X Gears Up to Introduce Timestamp Links for Video Clips: X is preparing to roll out timestamp-based links for shared video clips, as revealed by X designer Andrea Conway. These timestamp links will allow users to direct viewers to specific video portions, initiating playback from the chosen timestamp. While some users currently use screenshots or clip smaller segments to highlight specific points, this feature could streamline the process. Despite the platform’s push towards video content, this update might seem minor to some. However, it could gain significance if X boosts original video content on its platform.

X Phases Out Promoted Accounts Ad Option for Interactive Formats: X, previously known as Twitter, is transitioning away from its account promotion ads, a feature that allowed brands to amplify their accounts in user feeds to gain followers. These “Follower Objective” ads have been instrumental in boosting brand visibility. However, in line with X’s evolving strategy, the focus is shifting towards video and other interactive ad formats. While these promoted accounts have historically generated around $100 million annually for the platform, the decision aligns with X’s broader objective to embrace more dynamic content formats. Brands are now encouraged to rely on content quality and algorithm alignment to increase their reach and followers on X organically.

X Restricts Reach of Certain Links and Mentions: X, formerly known as Twitter, is reportedly limiting the reach of links to rival social media platforms and certain news outlets that don’t align with owner Elon Musk’s preferences. Despite its claims of promoting free speech, X seems to be selectively throttling links to media outlets like The New York Times and Reuters. Additionally, links to competing social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and others, are restricted. While some restrictions have been lifted, the platform’s approach raises questions about its commitment to open discourse. Marketers and social media managers should be aware of these changes, which could impact their posting strategies on X.

X’s New ‘Client Council’ Aims to Rebuild Trust with Ad Partners: X has reinstated its “client council” and scheduled its inaugural meeting to rebuild trust with its advertising partners. This move aims to offer X’s major ad partners a platform to voice their concerns and queries about the platform’s future direction, especially under the leadership of CEO Linda Yaccarino and owner Elon Musk. Despite Musk’s initial plans to reduce X’s dependency on ad revenue by focusing on subscriptions, the platform remains heavily reliant on advertisers. The upcoming Client Council meeting could be pivotal in determining the platform’s future strategies, especially in light of Musk’s controversial decisions and the platform’s brand safety concerns.

X Advances ID Confirmation to Combat Bots: X is making strides in ID verification, with a new code indicating the imminent addition of ID confirmation elements. The platform is considering a feature that confirms if an account has verified its ID. Users would be required to provide both a selfie and a government-issued ID, with the verification process potentially being outsourced to a company named au10tix. This initiative aims to combat the platform’s proliferation of bots and fake accounts. While ID verification could be a significant step towards ensuring genuine user interactions, challenges arise, such as user anonymity concerns and the potential impact on multi-account users.

X Introduces Job ‘Matchmaking’ for Relevant Brand Opportunities: X is rolling out new job listings for verified business profiles within its app, with an added feature of job “matchmaking” to assist users in finding pertinent opportunities. The platform aims to recommend job roles based on user interactions, content, and location, although it’s unclear how it will compare to established platforms like LinkedIn. This new feature is part of X’s Verification for Organizations package, priced at $1,000 monthly. The company is also exploring additional incentives, such as priority post displays and an enhanced version of TweetDeck, to attract more brands.

Musk Discloses Appointment Of New Twitter CEO: In a significant development, Elon Musk, owner of Twitter, has revealed the appointment of a new CEO who will assume responsibilities in six weeks. The announcement comes amidst Musk’s ambitious and somewhat nebulous ‘X’ project to transform Twitter into an ‘everything app.’ The change in leadership follows a poll Musk conducted in December, which with 17.5 million responses, highlighted a desire among Twitter users for a different leader.

Twitter Embarks On Initial Rollout Of Encrypted Direct Messages: Twitter has initiated the first phase of its encrypted Direct Messages (DMs) rollout, despite acknowledging the initial lack of robust security. The new feature, scrutinized for years, allows users to activate encryption within their chats. However, at its current stage, the functionality doesn’t meet the conventional implications of encryption, leading to considerable criticism from privacy experts.

Voice Recordings Feature In Direct Messages Extends To Additional Regions On Twitter: Twitter is extending its voice note feature to more regions in an incremental but familiar change. Initially tested in 2020, this feature was first rolled out to users in India, Brazil, and Japan in 2021. The latest expansion provides users in additional regions with another layer of connectivity following Twitter’s recent updates.

Twitter Embarks On Purging Inactive Accounts: Twitter users may soon be able to secure their desired, previously unavailable usernames, according to Twitter’s head Elon Musk. The company is presently removing inactive profiles, resulting in numerous @handles becoming available. However, the potential for misuse by spammers and scammers remains a critical concern, highlighted when the initiative was first proposed after Musk’s takeover.

Twitter Introduces Direct Replies In DM Threads And Expanded Emoji Responses: Twitter has unveiled two significant updates for Direct Messages. First, users can reply directly to any message within a DM thread, facilitating improved interaction within group chats and discussions. This clarity-enhancing feature complements the expanded emoji response options, both of which have been developing for several months.

Twitter Moves Toward Verification Overhaul, Aligns More Closely With Past Practices: Despite Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, the company’s operations largely mirror past practices. Musk’s actions, such as reinstating previously banned accounts and tightening content removal criteria, have led to some amusement. Also notable is the addition of Community Notes to promoted tweets, which has made the platform less welcoming to advertisers. However, the most significant change lies in the ongoing transformation of Twitter’s verification process, drawing it closer to its earlier methodology.

Twitter Requires Advertisers to Pay for Verification to Run Ads Summary: To boost Twitter’s subscription revenue, the platform requires all advertisers to sign up for Twitter Blue or Verification for Organizations to continue running ads. Brands must pay $8 monthly for a blue tick or $1,000 for Verification for Organizations. This change has been communicated to all Twitter advertisers, and brands already spending over $1,000 monthly will soon receive gold checkmarks automatically. April 21, 2023

Twitter Removes Labels on State-Affiliated and Government-Funded Media Accounts: Twitter has removed all labels on government and state-affiliated media accounts, including those belonging to outlets such as Russia Today and China Xinghua News. This move comes amidst various changes on the platform, prompting confusion about what constitutes a systematic change versus a mistake. April 21, 2023

Twitter 2.0 Unleashes New Creator Subscriptions: Easier Monetization: As part of Elon Musk’s vision for Twitter 2.0, the platform is re-launching its creator subscription program to help users monetize their tweets and establish a thriving business within the app. Previously known as the ‘Super Follows’ initiative, the revamped ‘Subscriptions’ program comes with lower entry requirements, opening up opportunities for a larger pool of users to monetize their content. With this program, creators can charge subscribers for exclusive tweets, access to subscriber-only Spaces, special badges to showcase their support, and a dedicated Subscriber-only tweets tab on creator profiles. 04.13.2023

Elon Musk’s Massive Generative AI Investment: Despite frequently expressing concerns about the potential risks of AI, Twitter CEO Elon Musk is delving into the world of artificial intelligence for his venture. The tech magnate is investing millions into a generative AI project for Twitter, acquiring thousands of GPUs to create advanced AI tools that can compete with OpenAI. This ambitious initiative demonstrates Musk’s commitment to revolutionizing Twitter with state-of-the-art technology. 04.10.2023

Say Goodbye to Legacy Blue Checkmarks: Twitter’s Shocking Deadline Revealed: In a surprising move, Twitter CEO Elon Musk has announced a new deadline for removing all ‘legacy’ blue checkmarks on the platform. Initially slated for April 1st, the updated deadline is now April 20th, which aligns with Musk’s penchant for referencing 4/20 in his public endeavors. This decision is part of the ongoing efforts to revamp and reshape Twitter under Musk’s leadership. 04.10.2023

Twitter Limits Substack Links: Free Speech Under Fire: Elon Musk’s commitment to ‘free speech’ faces scrutiny as Twitter restricts sharing links to Substack newsletters and prohibits Substack users from embedding tweets within their content. Recently, users on both platforms have encountered warnings when attempting to connect the two apps, sparking debate over how Twitter upholds the principles of free speech and open dialogue under Musk’s leadership. 04.10.2023

Twitter’s Stunning Visual Rebrand: Boosting Ad Spend with Fresh Features: In an effort to regain advertisers and counter a 50% drop in ad revenue, Twitter has introduced a range of revamped promotional features that brands can now integrate into their campaigns. As part of the ongoing ‘Twitter 2.0’ transformation, these updates are essentially polished or refreshed versions of existing offerings or revived older projects. Among the most notable additions is the rebranded ‘Hashmojis’, which evolved from Twitter’s Branded Hashtags and now feature eye-catching graphics appended to the end of hashtags. 04.10.2023

Twitter Blue Delivers: Ad Reduction Now Live for Subscribers: Twitter Blue subscribers can now enjoy a long-awaited perk, as the platform has implemented its commitment to reducing the number of ads seen within the app. Although the initial announcement from Twitter CEO Elon Musk in November suggested a 50% ad reduction, the reality may not be as drastic. Critics have argued that slashing ad exposure could negatively impact Twitter’s ad revenue, potentially outweighing the income generated from Twitter Blue subscriptions and raising questions about the long-term viability of this strategy. 04.10.2023

Twitter makes it difficult to distinguish between paying and legacy verified accounts: Twitter changed the language when users click on a Blue checkmark, making it very difficult to tell whether it’s a Twitter Blue subscriber or a legacy verified account. 04.03.2023

Twitter verification process history summarized in an infographic: Twitter’s verification process has evolved, and an infographic provides a brief history of its evolution, including where it broke, how it was fixed, and what’s coming next for the app. 04.03.2023

Consider factors before paying for Twitter verification: With Twitter’s upcoming push to boost its paid verification program, many users are considering whether it’s worth signing up, but the decision depends on various factors. The full impact of the push is still unknown, and the new Verification for Organizations program may be too pricey for most businesses. 03.31.2023

Twitter releases tweet ranking algorithm code for transparency: Twitter has fulfilled its promise of providing transparency by publishing its tweet recommendation algorithm code on GitHub. Additionally, Twitter has posted a new overview of how the algorithm works, providing insights into tweet order display. 03.31.2023

Twitter’s new API pricing could force many third-party apps out of the market: Twitter has rolled out its new pricing plans for API access, which may force many smaller apps and third-party tools out of the market. Developers are being forced out of the Twitter tools market due to the significant price hike and capacity reduction of the developer and researcher access. 3.30.2023

Twitter’s New Text Formatting Options Move Closer to Launch, Font Size Not Included: Twitter will introduce new text formatting options in its app, with updated native text display options already in the pre-deployment stage. This development was previously flagged by Elon Musk back in January. While he also noted that font size would be an additional option, this may not be part of the initial release. 03.21.2023

Twitter to Remove ‘Legacy’ Blue Checkmarks, Prompting Subscriptions for Verification: Twitter has announced that it will begin revoking ‘legacy’ blue checkmarks from next week, prompting users to subscribe to Twitter Blue or Verification for Business to retain their verification status. The move is part of Twitter’s push to boost subscription revenue, with the platform hoping to entice more users to pay for their blue tick. While some legacy verified accounts may choose to subscribe, how many will opt for the $1,000 per month Verification for Business option remains to be seen. 03.24.2023

Twitter Blue Sign-Up Process Might Include ID Verification: Twitter is reportedly exploring incorporating ID verification into its Twitter Blue sign-up process. This would add an extra layer of security and ensure that only real people with genuine identities can create verified accounts. Currently, the platform is testing the new ID verification element, which would be linked to the Twitter Blue sign-up process. 03.21.2023

Twitter to Open-Source Tweet Recommendation Algorithm for Increased Transparency: Twitter is set to open-source its tweet recommendation algorithm next week, fulfilling a promise made by Elon Musk. This move will provide insight into how tweets gain traction and which specific platform elements are incentivized to maximize engagement and reach. Twitter hopes to increase transparency and boost user trust by publicizing its algorithm’s details. 03.21.2023

Twitter to Introduce Upgrades to Long-Form Tweets; Limit Extended to 10k Characters: Twitter has announced that they will increase the character limit for long-form tweets. This update will bring the maximum tweet length to 10,000 characters, allowing users to provide more context to their posts. 03.07.2023

Twitter Shared Top-Performing Super Bowl Ads: Twitter just shared the top-performing Super Bowl ads for 2023, and the results shouldn’t be surprising. According to their data, there was a 20% increase in global Tweets and an 18% increase in unique authors compared to last year. Bud Light, Tubi, Pepsi, Doritos, and Busch Beer were the top-performing ads. 02.18.2023

Twitter Blue Subscribers Can Now Add Up To 4,000 Characters: Twitter allows Twitter Blue subscribers to post tweets of up to 4,000 characters. Longer tweets will be displayed normally in the feed, with a “Show more…” prompting users to read the full text. 02.09.2023

Twitter Announces New Incentives for Twitter Blue Signups: Twitter may incentivize additional sign-ups by sharing revenue for any ads appearing in threads. They also plan to improve Twitter Spaces and podcast experience, allowing some users API access for free. Lastly, there is a possibility that Twitter will charge brands $1,000 a month for a gold check mark verification. 02.06.2023

Twitter Blue Subscribers Can Now Pay Annually: Good news if you subscribe to Twitter Blue. You can now pay in advance for one year at a time and save about 13%. 01.18.2023

Twitter Prioritizes Tweet Ranking, Longer Videos for Blue Subscribers: Twitter Blue subscribers can now upload videos up to 60 minutes long, in 1080p, and they are also getting ‘priority ranking in conversations.’ This means that their content will be more visible on the site. 12.28.2022.

Twitter is Re-Launching its Verification Program: Twitter plans to relaunch its paid verification plan on Monday, December 19th. There are two options, $8.00 if you sign up on the web or $11 a month if you sign up on your iPhone. The subscription plan offers a lot more features: Editing Tweets, 1080p video uploads, reader mode, and of course, the highly coveted blue checkmark. 12.10.2022

Twitter Adding New Controls for Ads: In response to the criticism of free speech on the platform, Twitter has now developed more controls that will enable advertisers to select or deselect keywords that they don’t want their ads to be placed alongside. 12.13.2022

Twitter Expanding Community Notes: Last January, Twitter launched Birdwatch, now called Community Notes, to help fight the spreading of false information. Twitter now allows all users globally to view and read the Community Notes. It’s only available for us users to create them, though. 12.13.2022

Twitter Will Free Up Dormant Accounts: Twitter will soon release 1.5 billion dormant accounts. According to Elon Musk, Twitter accounts with no content or login for years will be released. This is great news for many active users who don’t have their name as part of their Twitter handle. 12.13.2022

Twitter Clarifies New, Alternate Color Verification Checkmarks: According to Elon Musk, Twitter will release a gold checkmark for brands, a grey checkmark for government organizations, and a blue checkmark for individuals starting Friday, December 2, 2022. All verified accounts will be manually authenticated before the checkmark is activated. 11.25.2022

Twitter Releases New Ad Targeting Features: Twitter released their new Website Conversions Optimization (WCO) tool, which can help advertisers reach bottom-of-the-funnel customers taking various actions (e.g., purchase, register, subscribe, etc.) They also launched ‘Dynamic Product Ads,’ which helps advertisers showcase relevant products to customers at the right time. 11.25.2022

Twitter Adds Community Module for Users: Twitter has released a new module so that users can highlight their top Twitter Communities on their profile. This new module offers many features to those who convert their account to a Professional Profile, including more robust analytics, categories, and more. 10.27.2022

Twitter is Testing a Way for Users to Control Their Mentions: Twitter is testing a feature that allows users to either block anyone from mentioning them or limit mentions to those they follow. Twitter hopes this change will make the platform more fun and less prone to spam and harassment.

Twitter is Testing Spaces Integration Within Communities: As part of its ongoing effort to build community capabilities into the app, Twitter has just launched a new test allowing users to host Spaces within their communities. The advantage is finding fresh content—something that most other social media apps seem to have prioritized more recently. Users can join communities that are focused on various topics, which means that the audio chats in the app will also be more relevant to those topics.

Twitter Introduces a New “Link Spotlight” CTA Button for Pro Accounts: After months of testing, Twitter’s new “Link Spotlight” feature is now live for US-based Pro Accounts. This feature lets marketers add a URL with a changeable “Call to Action” button to their app profile.

Twitter Releases an Improved Professional Account Analytics Tab: Twitter’s Professional Accounts option has been upgraded with a new analytics display that gives an updated snapshot of your entire account’s performance. While this isn’t a new feature, it makes it easier for corporate users to monitor their Twitter performance.

Twitter’s New ‘Twemoji’ Are Designed to Appeal to Younger Audiences: Twitter introduced 3D Twemoji stickers to its image editing choices last week. Several users are adding their creative spin to the Twemojis and appear to appreciate the idea.

Twitter is Testing New Tweet View Count: Twitter already provides reach and impression data for users who want to look at the analytics of their content. But they are also testing a new feature that will display how many views their content receives publicly.

Twitter Releases Insights on the Gaming Conversation: What seems to be just about every week, Twitter has released new insights about the conversation and usage of its platform. Their latest report emphasized the growth in the gaming conversation, which has tripled since 2019 (76M mentions during the first half of 2019 compared to 248M mentions during the first half of 2022). The report has many more insights, including basic demographics and the most tweeted games and franchises.

Twitter Opens App for Cross Network Sharing: Cross-network integration and sharing benefit everyone. Twitter just recently integrated the WhatsApp share button in India. It’s unknown if this feature will be released for users globally. Also, they have recently enabled tweet sharing to Snapchat and IG Stories on Android devices and a new option to share tweets directly to LinkedIn.

Twitter Launches Marketing Workshop: Twitter has recently announced new ‘Twitter Flight School’ workshops, providing actionable insights on how to be successful using Twitter for marketing. Twitter Product Marketing Manager Morgan Cornelius will run the sessions.

Twitter Shares How Tweets Spread Across the News Cycle: Twitter released some great insights on how users engage with and share news content in the app. A few of the data points are below:

An image of a Twitter news study

Twitter Expands ‘Birdwatch’ Fact-Checking Program: As the US midterm elections are approaching, Twitter is expanding its Birdwatch fact-checking program. The program launched last year allows any Twitter user to highlight the information they feel might be misleading. If you have a verified phone number, no rule violations, and have been using the app actively for the last six months, you can become a Birdwatch contributor. This is an interesting take on content moderation, and it’s very similar to Reddit’s community of self-policing.

You Can Finally Edit Tweets: Well, not everyone can. Twitter is finally launching an edit button after years of debate internally, even though users have been asking for it for years. Unfortunately, this feature will only be available to users who pay $4.99 monthly for a Twitter Blue subscription.

New Twitter Circle Feature Enables Users to Send Tweets to Small Groups: Twitter just launched a new feature that allows users to send tweets to smaller groups of people. Google+ had a similar feature, also called Circles. This functionality should help facilitate more thoughtful discussion and enable micro-communities to have focused conversations about passionate topics.

NFL Engagement Thriving on Twitter: What I love about Twitter is the conversation. You can’t have conversations on other platforms as well as you could on Twitter. They just released some data about the upcoming NFL season and fan conversation and engagement spike. Reddit shared some similar data on NFL engagement in their app.

Twitter Still Innovating! Tests Professional Account Options: Twitter continues adding more features to its Professional Accounts tools, allowing you to choose specific labels for a CTA link. They are also launching a new Shopping Manager platform, allowing brands to upload their product catalogs directly to the platform.

Twitter Doubles Down on Podcasting: Just yesterday (8/25), Twitter is now integrating podcasts into the newly designed Twitter Spaces tab. This move should help users discover relevant audio content by displaying a specific Twitter Space or a podcast. The redesigned audio experience is a personalized hub to group audio content by topical themes like politics, news, music, and sports.

Twitter’s New Tweet Tiles are Fire!: Twitter is testing a new way to visually display tweeted links by media publishers. Using Tweet Tiles is an innovative way to share articles with a dynamic news feed, driving better click-through performance of any shared content.

Twitter Business Marketing Shares Best Practices for Ads: I love what the Twitter marketing team is doing with Twitter Spaces. They hosted a Twitter Space and shared best practices for using Twitter ads. This is critical given that the Holidays are right around the corner.

Twitter Still Pushing Audio: Adding Podcast Access: The social audio hype has died down over the last 12 to 18 months. However, Twitter remains steadfast that audio is the feature of its platform and continues to innovate with its new ‘Stations Approach,’ which would integrate popular podcasts alongside Twitter Spaces.

Twitter’s Soon to Launch ‘Reply Filter’: Twitter is working on new ways for users to control their ‘in-app experience’ by filtering out negative comments and replies. However, the filter won’t stop others from seeing those responses.

Twitter Makes Improvements to Their Performance Advertising: Twitter just released a new pixel for website visitor attribution that will allow you to track more actions during the purchase process. They also updated their conversion API and App Purchase Optimization process. These new enhancements will help you improve campaign performance, which is perfect timing with the holidays approaching quickly.

Twitter Launches Election Integrity Features: The US Midterms are approaching in a few short months, so Twitter is launching improved election integrity features that will prevent potential misuse of its platform and the spreading of false information about candidates and issues. They are also launching US election hubs in the Explore tab, with curated updates by internal staff and labels on candidate profiles to clarify who they are and the positions they stand for.

Twitter Releases New Soccer Insights: Twitter released a new study on the soccer discussion happening on the platform leading up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in about three months. According to the data, soccer mentions have grown 27% YOY. For brands who want to reach soccer fans, Twitter is an excellent place to engage directly with the fan base.

Twitter & Variety Magazine Launch Trending Film Engagement: Twitter has launched a new initiative with Variety, helping users decide what movie to watch and why. It doesn’t provide sentiment, so it’s hard to tell whether fans enjoy or criticize the movies. As of today (August 12, 2022), the top five films are Prey (Hulu), Day Shift (Netflix), Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount), Purple Heart (Netflix), and Bones & All (MGM).

An image of Twitter Film Engagement

Tweet Editing Looks to Become a Reality, Finally: the ability to edit tweets has been one of the top requested features from Twitter users over the last several years. It’s finally being released but will be a part of Twitter Blue and the other features for $2.99 monthly.

Twitter Testing Hashtag Discovery to Communities: Twitter is now testing hashtags in Communities. This will certainly help with the discovery of new communities and in-app engagement. Interesting that they are testing only on Android and the web app. iOS is coming soon!

Twitter’s New ‘Status’ Indicators are Coming Soon: Twitter will soon be releasing a new ‘Status’ option that would users to add a customizable status to tweets. There will be a range of options that could help to eliminate groupings of emojis to signify certain actions. This will also give users more characters for context.

See below for all the latest product updates and features from the other social media channels:

Michael Brito

Michael Brito is a Digital OG. He’s been building brands online since Al Gore invented the Internet. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.