#ThisHappened2020: A refresher on the cool features introduced on Twitter this year

Twitter’s purpose is to serve the public conversation – it’s where people go to see what's happening in the world and to talk about it. The service is committed to making it easier for people to join and follow conversations, and to make it reflective of everyone. As a result, in 2020, Twitter saw more people using the service than ever before and monetizable daily active users growing 29% year-over-year to 187 million driven by global conversation around current events and product improvements. 

As we bid adieu to the year, here’s a look at some of the products that Twitter rolled out in 2020 to help people discover and engage in conversations that interest them.

December 2020: Snapchat Integration 

No more screenshots! The service in December announced a cool new experiment, by allowing people to share their Tweets directly to their Snapchat. 

October 2020: Twitter Topics

#ChooseYourFeed! To help people find, follow and talk about their interests and the things they love, Twitter in October announced the rollout of Topics in India in both English and Hindi languages letting people follow specific subjects of their interest, allowing them to see more content on these subjects on their timeline. When people choose to follow a Topic – whether it’s their favorite band, sports team or celebrity – they’ll see Tweets from a whole host of accounts that are experts, fans or just tend to talk about that thing a lot on Twitter. As of now, around 70 million accounts are following Topics. 

September 2020: Quote Tweet 

Quote them Tweets! Tweets about a Tweet add more to the conversation, hence Twitter in September 2020 rolled out its new, separate count listing for 'Quote Tweets' on the main Tweet display. Following this update, Retweets with comments are now called ‘Quote Tweets’ encouraging everyone to consider why they are amplifying a Tweet, and brings more thoughts, reactions, and perspectives to the conversation. 

September 2020: See why something is Trending 

“Why is this trending?”. That question was actually Tweeted over half a million times over the last year! Trends show what everyone is talking about right now. But too often, people look at one word or phrase trending on Twitter and ask, “why?”. Twitter has been working to provide additional context on Trends by adding short descriptions, improved headlines, and pinned Tweets, so that people can get a quick sense for why something is trending when they’re in the Explore tab or tapping into a trend. This is available on twitter.com and Twitter for iOS and Android in India and 16 other countries.  

August 2020: New Conversation Settings 

Bye, bye reply guys! Since a Tweet = our space, Twitter has been testing new settings to give people more control over the conversations they have on the service. There are times when people are more comfortable talking about what's happening when they can choose who can reply. Hence, Twitter introduced new conversation settings which people can use to choose who can reply to their Tweet and join their conversation so that unwanted replies do not get in the way of meaningful conversations. Twitter saw around 43 million Tweets created with conversation settings and over half of these use the “people I follow” option.

August 2020: Bio Translations

Not lost in translation! In August 2020, Twitter introduced  a translation option for profile bios that are in a language other than the one you use on the service. The translation makes it easier for people to connect and engage in conversations with people from different cultures and languages. 

June 2020: Twitter Lists 

List kara de! Twitter Lists have been around for a while making it easier for people to find what they are looking for. However, this year in June, Twitter enhanced their List feature further by allowing people to add new voices and conversations to their Timeline through Lists. Also, while sharing a List on one’s timeline, one can get creative and add cards with images instead of boring URLs.

June 2020: Voice Tweets

Twitter heard you! Over the years, photos, videos, and GIFs, have allowed people to add their own flair and personality to their conversations. But sometimes 280 characters aren’t enough and some conversational nuances are lost in translation. Hence Twitter in June 2020, started testing a new feature that adds a more human touch to the way we use Twitter – your very own voice. As of now, the feature is available to iOS users. 

June 2020: Fleets 

Here today, gone tomorrow! There are times when those 289 characters feel uncomfortable as Tweets are public and permanent. To help people feel more comfortable, Twitter introduced Fleets in India in June 2020. Fleets allow people to easily join the conversation in a new way and share their ‘felt cute; might delete later’ thoughts with others. Following this, in November 2020, Twitter launched Fleets globally for everyone to Fleet their momentary thoughts. 

May 2020: Twitter Threads

Conversations are the heart of Twitter. To help people follow them in a more seamless manner, the service in May 2020 introduced a new layout for replies with lines and indentations that make it clearer who is talking to whom and to fit more of the conversation in one view.

So, which among these was your favorite new addition to Twitter this year? We’ll accept all of the above too. #ThisHappened2020


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