Twitter acquires Sphere to bolster Communities feature

Anne Freer | October 22, 2021

App Business

Twitter recently acquired chat app Sphere in an effort to extend its Communities feature.

Communities is a section within Twitter that users can sign up to. Members can then share tweets directly to their followers within the Community, creating their own rules and focus of conversation.

Community pages and timelines are viewable by any user publicly.

“Think of Communities as places created for conversation where the vibe and tone is set by people who share the same interests and want to have relevant conversations,” Twitter said in a blog post.

That’s where Sphere comes in. The app focuses on community chats optimising engagement within groups.

So-called Zen Flows are at the core of this, highlighting the most relevant elements of group chats to members. Sphere says:

“Our feed automatically clears out old or irrelevant chats to prevent groups from feeling chaotic. Our chats call out essential messages (like polls, events, and announcements) and make it more likely for people to respond. Our custom appreciations encourage people to express genuine gratitude.”

It’s not yet entirely clear how Twitter will incorporate Sphere into its own offering, but it could use the algorithm to highlight the most important elements in a discussion.

Whether users have a desire to share their thoughts to private communities on a platform that has been predominantly used to promote thoughts publicly and attract as many retweets as possible in return remains to be seen.

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