You can “collab” on Instagram, but what about on Twitter? The social network is continuing to work on a feature that would allow multiple users to co-author a tweet, which it’s referring to as “Collaborations.” The option has yet to be made publicly available and only works after one user accepts a request to collaborate from another. It also seemingly hints at a possible plan to give creators a way to partner with businesses on brand ad deals — something that’s already common on rival social networks like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and others.
Twitter’s “Collaborations” feature was first dug up from the app’s code by mobile developer Alessandro Paluzzi, who, back in December 2021, shared references he found that indicated Twitter was working on a way for two people to become co-authors on a single tweet. In this scenario, both people’s Twitter handles and names would appear at the top of the tweet above its content. Earlier this year, Paluzzi uncovered a collaborations button had been added to the tweet composer screen and he discovered how the co-authors’ profile pictures would appear — one overlaid on top of the other — when their tweeted-out “Collab” showed up in the Twitter Timeline.
Today Paluzzi has again found further evidence of the feature’s development when he tweeted out a screenshot that explains how Twitter Collaborations would work.
Here, Twitter explains users would first ask a person or brand to “co-own” a tweet with them and wait for them to accept the request. In other words, you can’t force someone into a collaboration — it’s not just a way to tag someone on a tweet, that is. When the other user accepts the request, both accounts are shown as co-authors on the tweet, Twitter explains in this introductory screen.
Paluzzi told TechCrunch he hasn’t found anything in the code that would limit this feature’s availability only to select users — like creators using Twitter’s Super Follows, for instance.
Still, this Collaborations addition is another indication that Twitter is thinking about how its platform could be leveraged in different ways beyond being a virtual town square or real-time news network.
Among the many new products Twitter has been testing in recent months is the idea to turn Twitter into a creator platform, where followers could optionally subscribe to favorite accounts in exchange for exclusive access to fans-only content, like photos, video or other media or even private tweets. This “Super Follows” feature, as it’s called, became globally available late last year and is now accessible by both iOS and Android users during this early test period. Eligibility requirements state the creator has to be U.S.-based with at least 10,000 followers in order to offer a Super Follow subscription to their fans.
Whether creators view Twitter as a viable platform to generate revenue from subscriptions still remains to be seen. But Twitter has a number of brand advertisers using its platform as well as high-profile users with large following counts that could be seen as Twitter “influencers” of sorts. Potentially, it could combine those two groups with this new Collaborations feature.
Of course, a Collaborations feature could have a number of other use cases besides brand deals. It could be used to put out combined statements from organizations, businesses or people; to promote work with multiple authors or creators, like podcasts, newsletters or news articles. And it could be used for fun by people who wanted to team up for any other reason, too.
Twitter, however, is leaving us to speculate about its plans for Twitter Collaborations for the time being.
Reached for comment, a Twitter spokesperson would only confirm that the feature was something Twitter was currently “exploring,” but declined to share more about the feature, its plans or a future launch date.