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Twitter is going after Facebook Groups with new Communities feature

The platform’s new feature is currently being tested with an interesting batch of Communities to start.

“There’s always been a broad, weird and wonderful range of conversations on Twitter, but we haven’t done enough to help connect people who are into the same things,” Twitter said while announcing that it is testing Communities, a feature similar to Facebook Groups and Reddit subreddits that lets users find and tweet to people with similar interests.

How will Communities work?

Tweet directly to specific group instead of all followers: When users join a Community they can tweet directly to that group instead of all their followers and only members in the same group can reply and join the conversation, Twitter said. These tweets will not be sent to the user’s followers’ Home timelines and are not shown on the user’s Twitter profile.

Community timelines will be publicly visible: All Community pages and timelines are publicly available so anyone can read and quote tweet. Currently on iOS, members of one or more communities will see the Communities tab within their Twitter app.

Moderators create the rules of the Community: “With Communities, moderators pick the focus, create the Community rules, and invite the people who will make it a great place for conversation,” Twitter said. Moderators can also invite others to moderate their space “to keep things on track and focused,” Twitter added. These moderators have the ability to hide tweets and remove users that are in violation of Community rules.

When will users be able to create Communities?  Currently, Community creation is limited and Twitter is testing a few communities but interested users can submit this form to create new communities. According to The Verge, some of the initial batch of Communities include #AstroTwitter, #DogTwitter, #SkincareTwitter, and #SoleFood (a group for sneaker enthusiasts).

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When will users be able to join communities? During the testing period, users will need to have a public account and will have to be invited to a Community by a moderator or another member. Once a person becomes a member they will be able to invite five others. Communities will be initially available on iOS and Web, the company said.

Will Communities be a safe and healthy space?

To indicate that Communities will support healthy conversations, Twitter has highlighted the following features:

  • Communities are publicly visible and are not closed groups
  • Both members and non-members can report any potential violations of Twitter Rules
  • Moderators have to continuously meet certain eligibility requirements. During the test period, moderators will be approved by Twitter.

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