#SocialThrowback2020: A year of Fleets, Quote Tweets, K-pop, Safety & Updates on Twitter


Social Samosa puts together all things important that happened in the world of Twitter for users, businesses, authorities and publishers in 2020.

Twitter has been amping up its features for users, brands and publishers through 2020. The efforts could be broadly divided into two categories: To be a participant in the fight against COVID-19 and to stay in the running with the evolution of other social media platforms.

They have been trying to fight misinformation with the help of labels, disclaimers and mandatory information display in search menus. Fleets was perhaps the biggest newsmaker for Twitter in 2020. It changed the prospects for the platform in a big way. Read on to know more.

Fleets & Quote Tweets

Even as Twitter users across the globe continue to raise demands for an edit button, which they are unlikely to ever get, Twitter brought out two important features in 2020: Fleets and Quote Tweets. While Fleets became Twitter’s way to push for ephemeral content on the platform, Quote Tweets made it easy for users and businesses to track sentiment and conversations around a specific tweet, and by extension, a topic.

COVID-19 & Twitter 2020

To tackle the misinformation around COVID-19, Twitter partnered with several scientific and government organisations across the globe to ensure users access to credible information throughout 2020. This information was highlighted in search sections while misinformation was flagged with the help of disclaimers. In India, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has onboarded Twitter Seva for COVID-19 communication.

The K-pop Craze

In sync with the rising popularity of K-pop in the country, Twitter has been pushing for facilitating better ways for fans to communicate on the platform. This includes an easy option to see the translated version of a profile’s bio as well as promoting such content under #KpopTwitter. These efforts are significant for the Indian market as Spotify is also trying to extend the scope of the genre in the country with various offerings.

Accessibility & Credibility

Making the platform accessible for all is one of the core aspects Twitter has been working on for a long time. A variety of inclusive picture descriptions and Voice Tweets are something they are trying to better on the platform.

On the credibility end, they are planning to revive the Verified Account Program in early 2021. Giving users the option to retweet with a quote instead of directly retweeting a tweet and nudging people to read the article before retweeting it are two features Twitter introduced this year to restrict the scope of misinformation on the platform.

Brand Communications

To enhance brand communications on the platform, Twitter India introduced ArtHouse this year. A creative suite of services to assist brands in creating and optimising Twitter-first content, the initiative was a win for both businesses and the platform.

Another major development was the introduction of Carousel ads for advertisers globally, allowing them to put forth a horizontally swipeable batch of images or videos in a single ad (tweet) that can redirect users to an app or website. This was key not just as a product offering but also because it added a horizontal dimension to the consumption of content on the platform, which is largely vertical by design.

Twitter 2020

Here’s a month-wise update on how Twitter fared through 2020.

January 2020

  • DM reactions and Set Reminder feature launched
  • Pinned Lists for Android and schedule tweets for the web were being tested
  • Twitter speaks about attempts to reduce hate speech
  • Soon, you can limit who replies to your tweet; Twitter tests new feature
  • Promoted Trend Spotlight for brands launched
  • Updates announced: New Search Endpoints, UI & The Bug 

February 2020

  • Twitter acquires Chroma Labs
  • Data: Natalie Portman ‘Most Tweeted about’ star on the Red Carpet
  • Twitter discloses an API incident impacting your Account Identity
  • Labels for manipulated media introduced
  • #UnionBudget2020 saw 11 lakh tweets in a week

March 2020

  • Twitter introduces Stories, names it Fleets
  • ISL celebrates the #HeroISLFinal with a downpour of Twitter Confetti

April 2020

  • 45% surveyed Twitter users wish to see brands supporting frontline warriors
  • Viewing Quote Tweets made easier
  • Twitter blossoms with environmental conversations on 50th #EarthDay
  • Ministry of Health & Family Welfare onboards Twitter Seva for COVID-19 communication
  • Twitter updates Explore and tests renaming Lists
  • Q1 guidance withdrawn due to COVID-19 impact

May 2020

  • Fundamentals of Inclusion & Diversity in the Workplace report is shared
  • Twitter tests new conversation settings
  • India thanks healthcare workers this #InternationalNursesDay on Twitter

June 2020

  • Data from conversations could help detect wildfires, Twitter claims
  • In Testing: Top Requests feature for Twitter DMs, Voice Tweets, Twitter emoji reactions, Discover Lists, & Prompt
  • Platform Updates: Banner Images and Schedule Tweets
  • Twitter backs efforts to quell the rise in domestic violence

July 2020

  • Twitter updates harmful conduct policy for links
  • Twitter mDAU grew 34% in Q2 year-over-year
  • Coronavirus the most tweeted topic by World leaders: BCW’s Twiplomacy Study
  • Chat windows for Desktop rolled out
  • Twitter diagnoses system to investigate breach after major accounts get hacked
  • Search prompt in India launched
  • Twitter is speculated to be working on a subscription platform
  • In testing: Updates for Fleets

August 2020

  • Twitter explains limiting visibility of Tweets
  • Information about people sliding in your DMs added
  • Introduced: New Transparency Center and New developer experience
  • Translate bio option for app users added
  • Twitter Updates: Conversation Settings & Warning Prompts
  • Twitter to label government and state-affiliated media accounts

September 2020

  • Twitter expands read before tweeting prompt globally
  • Data backed Tips to create engaging video ads on Twitter
  • #KpopTwitter: BTS emerges as the most mentioned K-pop artist in India
  • Twitter users go into a frenzy over the Like animation for #AppleEvent
  • In Testing: Top Requests in DMs, Auto-Translation, Shared Content and Descriptions
  • Two new teams to work on accessibility introduced
  • Quote Tweets become an official feature on Twitter
  • Twitter adds more context to Trends with representative tweets

October 2020

  • New Tweet Composer for advertisers is launched
  • Twitter updates privacy settings on desktop and mobile
  • WordPress blogs can now be published as Twitter Threads
  • Twitter shares an update on limiting abusive behaviour
  • Image cropping methods are improved post bias accusation

November 2020

  • Twitter tests Audio Spaces in beta
  • Verified account program to be revived in 2021
  • Data: CSK the most Tweeted about the team this cricket season
  • Carousel ads are rolled out for advertisers globally
  • Twitter tests warnings on liking Tweets that may contain misinformation
  • ArtHouse helping brands create Twitter-first content is launched

Even though 2020 was tumultuous, Twitter was able to stay afloat and release a number of features. One can only wonder how these experiences would impact their growth prospects in months to come. Keep tweeting!


Comments