At a guess, I would say that Twitter is looking to build new professional tools into an alternate Twitter Blue type offering, which would provide more analytics, monitoring and creation features in a different paid tier for business users.
Which would also incorporate messaging. Today, Twitter has announced that it’s acquired messaging app Quill, which is focused on facilitating more efficient messaging communication via advanced layout and sorting options, which are more specifically aligned to professional than personal communication.
As Quill describes itself:
“Built for productivity and focus, Quill reduces notifications, collects conversations into threads, and gets out of your way - so you can get back to doing what you do best.”
So while it is a messaging app, which could theoretically be built into Twitter’s DMs, it’s more aligned with professional messaging, and organizing your various chats into different categories to maximize efficiency in communication.
Which, going on Twitter’s more recent acquisitions, seems to align with this becoming an add-on service, as opposed to an integration.
For example, Twitter acquired content subscription platform Scroll back in May, which it hasn’t actually integrated into the service as such, but has instead included as a bolt-on element within its Twitter Blue offering. Twitter also acquired newsletter platform Revue in January, which also now serves as a mostly separate, supplementary element to the tweet experience.
That may suggest that Twitter is taking a similar approach with Quill, which would mean that this is less about improving its DMs for general users, and more about offering a new messaging upgrade within a paid option, maybe a ‘Twitter Red’ or ‘Twitter Green’ which would be aimed at professional users, as opposed to tweet enthusiasts.
Indeed, Twitter’s also currently testing an upgraded version of its tweet management platform TweetDeck, which includes new DM elements to better manage professional communications.
Maybe, Quill’s functionality will replace this element, in order to help brands maximize their use of tweet DMs for customer service.
Previous research has shown that this can be a beneficial approach, with 64% of Twitter users indicating that brands with a dedicated support handle were, at least perceptively, doing more for their customers.
And if Twitter can also build on its analytics features - like, say, bringing back its Audience Insights tools, and adding new monitoring and discovery tools - that could make TweetDeck an essential app for brand managers, which could be a more valuable subscription offering than the current Twitter Blue add ons.
Really, the framework for this is already there, with several third-party Twitter tools offering analytics and insights that you just can’t get from Twitter itself. That means Twitter’s losing money to these outside providers, which are using its data, and if it can bring more of these functionalities into a more integrated TweetDeck, that could be a big earner for the platform, and a big positive for marketers.
Of course, we don’t know which way Twitter is going to go with this, and its new CEO may have a different direction on such. But again, on assessment, it seems like this is where Twitter is headed.
For Quill users, the app has announced that it will be shutting down on December 11th, when all of its servers will be switched off, and all data erased.