Really enjoyed this post!

Twitter's glacial pace of iteration has one advantage: The platform doesn't change its UI on users every month chasing the next hot business opportunity (cough Instagram).

I think Twitter has a lot of room to grow. For example, many creators use Twitter to build an audience but monetize that audience elsewhere. There's no reason why Twitter can't have paid subscriptions someday to capture this value.

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Nov 18, 2020Liked by Casey Newton

It's interesting to me that still after years of stories being popularized in the US, essentially all social platforms keep the same defining characteristics when introducing stories (ephemeral, visual-based, no public comments/likes, no sharing, in bar at the top of feed), similar to how way back when almost all social platforms converged on feed posts with their defining characteristics (permanent, comments and likes, sharing, appears in a vertical feed). I wonder if the reason that platforms tend not to mix these characteristics between different types of posts is because the characteristics naturally go well together (presumably backed by data from company testing) or because it's easier to just copy.

My initial thought upon seeing fleets this morning was they don't make sense for Twitter, that I see Twitter more for text-based Posting and that images go elsewhere, like on Instagram. But today's newsletter has convinced me that fleets are a natural fit for Twitter. I do wonder though, if different mixes of these characteristics make more sense for different social platforms, and if it would have been better for Twitter to mix them up with fleets.

There are examples of some deviations, for example Instagram feed posts don't have sharing and Instagram mostly stayed true to showing content generated by users you follow, though even then suggested posts and especially sharing feed posts to stories has changed that. Snapchat is a notable exception too, they have mostly stayed ephemeral without sharing (though they moved away from being only image-based somewhat early on). But I see these as exceptions, not the rule.

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Did you see the tidbit going around proposing that Fleets at least partly exists in order to satisfy Elliott by showing that Twitter "can innovate"?

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