Twitter x Digital Upfronts: 10 things we learnt

Posted on Tuesday 19 October 2021 | IAB UK

From Spaces to Safety Mode, Twitter took us through 10 innovations that are evolving the platform 

“We’ve designed our Upfront this year to be really focused and quickly get you up-to-speed”, explained David Wilding, Twitter UK’s Director of Planning, introducing a jam-packed 10-minute event covering “all the exciting stuff that we’ve got coming down the product pipeline”. 

Up next, Julia White, Senior Partners Manager, Entertainment Partnerships at Twitter, took us through the 10 innovations that Twitter has recently launched, is soon to launch or are currently trialling…


1. Topics

People come to Twitter to follow their passions and interests”, White explained, and Topics makes this easier than ever. With over 7,300 topics currently on the platform in 9 different languages, all people have to do is follow a specific topic (say, coffee) and Twitter will collate related content. 

2. Communities

This is a new tool that helps Twitter users “find and connect with people that are into the same things as them”. People can start a community and invite others to join. It’s currently being run as a limited pilot.

3. Spaces

Twitter Spaces allows users to extend the conversations they are already having on Twitter into the audio space. White said that ticketed Spaces will be coming soon, allowing hosts to charge people to attend.

4: Emojis

To help people best express how they feel about a tweet, Twitter has made emoji reactions part of its functionality - just long-press on the like button to access. As White said: “It’s all part of making Twitter even more visually appealing.”

5. Edge-to-edge videos & pictures

Twitter now gives people and brands the ability to make pictures, videos and gifs span the full width of your timeline, “giving those images even more space to shine”.

6. Safety Mode

Twitter is committed to “products that protect, policies that lead and partnerships that drove industry-wide change” explained White. Safety Mode auto-detects and blocks abusive or ‘spammy’ interaction for 7 days. It’s currently being rolled out to a small feedback group before it’s hopefully introduced more widely.

7. Super Follows

This is a way for Tweeters to earn revenue from subscribers. “People pay a small amount each month to access exclusive subscriber-only content from the creators they love most”, White said. It’s being rolled out in the US and Canada initially, with plans to extend to ‘Super Follower’ only Spaces.

8. Tips

Describing Tips as “a really easy way for people to show support for the incredible voices on Twitter”, White said that this allows users to provide one-off cash tips to their favourite creators. Twitter takes no cut from this service and it is working on extending the functionality to charity donations.

9. Revue

Having recently acquired Revue - an editorial newsletter tool - Twitter now allows users to add a newsletter link to their profiles “so people can sign up seamlessly”.

10. Twitter Blue

Describing Twitter Blue as “not quite an edit button, but almost an edit button”, the tool is currently available in Canada and Australia for a small monthly fee. 


White rounded up by saying: “With all this talk of innovation, we should just end by reminding ourselves what hasn’t changed - Twitter remains the best way for people to see what’s happening and for brands to be what’s happening.” 

For more, watch the event back here

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