Twitter acquires Sphere to advance community building
As a part of the acquisition the independent app and service will be discontinued; the team of 20 from Sphere will be working on Communities, Direct Messages, and Creators initiatives at Twitter.
For the unacquainted, Sphere is a free group chat app that fosters close-knit communities, that was available on iOS, Android, and Web. The Sphere team in a blog post mentioned they would be bringing their understanding of community-building and applying it to products at Twitter.
Sphere initially formulated a marketplace of paid experts from across countries, connecting the users through group chat, in the effort of creating a “global brain”. The company then built a social experience designed to limit problems that hinder online communication.
The self-clearing feed-in Sphere automatically disposes old or irrelevant chats to archives, essential messages such as polls, events, and announcements that are more likely to garner response are highlighted in chats, and custom appreciations intended to make the groups more vibrant.
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Twitter Communities would be one of the focal areas of development for the Sphere team. Communities are groups based on particular characteristics, interests, or inclinations and can be created and self-moderated by users.
Communities exist on the Twitter app as a place to Tweet about interests separate from the public timeline. Presently, Twitter Communities have been rolled out on an invite-only basis, and admins and moderators as of now have unlimited invites and members have 5 invites per Community that can be sent via DM.
Users who have joined a community will see a new option in the Tweet Composer to Tweet to the community or only the followers, with the options ‘Everyone’ or ‘My Communities’ that shows a list of Communities that the user is a part of.