What you need to know
- Twitter Super Follows are $2.99, $4.99, or $9.99 monthly subscriptions to individual Twitter feeds. You'll pay in-app.
- Only Twitter users with 10,000+ followers can apply to become Super users.
- Twitter Safety Mode will let you auto-block hostile accounts for harmful language or frequent, unwanted messages.
- Safety Mode uses AI to determine who to auto-block, but won't block people you follow.
- Safety Mode is currently in beta, while Super Follows are now available in the US and Canada (iOS only).
Twitter announced two major updates to its site and apps today. One should help to clean up Twitter's issues with online abuse. The other will make certain tweets exclusive to people willing to pay for them. We suspect people will like the first feature more than the second.
Twitter's Safety Mode is a setting that "temporarily blocks" accounts for malicious or unwanted behavior. You toggle Safety Mode on for a specific period of time, such as a week; then, when the week ends, you get a summary of every autoblocked account, so you can decide to permanently block or unblock specific accounts.
Twitter's announcement says that this system "won't always get this right and may make mistakes," so we assume it uses some form of AI rather than moderation to determine if an account is harassing you. The system won't autoblock people you follow or "frequently interact with."
Safety Mode is still being tested and isn't fully available for now. But Super Follows are now fully live in the US and Canada on iOS — with Android surely to follow soon.
In exchange for a monthly subscription, you get "special access to subscriber-only Tweets," plus upcoming features like newsletters and "Super Follows-only Spaces." Presumably, the chance to speak directly to someone in Twitter Spaces could be worth money to some people.
Interested in getting paid for your tweets? You must be based in the US, have 10,000 followers, be 18 or older, and tweet around once a day at least, then apply to a waitlist. For now, not many people will get to take advantage of the feature. But soon, if you go to a celebrity's account page, you may see a bright "Super Follow" button next to their name.
Twitter is experimenting with a ton of new features recently. It is working on a dislike button, for instance, and recently revamped its design on Android and iOS. Plus, it recently killed off Fleets, which didn't succeed the way Twitter hoped. We'll have to wait and see if Super Follows has a similar fate, or proves successful.
For now, neither feature is available on the best Android phones. But once they are, will you be using Safety Mode? And is there anyone you can think of worth paying $10 a month to see their secret tweets? Let us know in the comments!
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Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.