I don’t know that X Communities are ever going to become a major element, or a real driver of significant engagement in the app.
But X is working to further amplify and expand Communities interaction, by making them easier to find, easer to join, and soon, easier to check in on as you scroll through the app.
we’re working on allowing you to pin communities to your timeline ????— X (@X) September 20, 2023
also, you’ll be able to search posts inside a community!
As per the above announcement, X is working on a new option that would enable you to pin a community to your timeline, seemingly similar to how you can currently pin lists as swipeable feed options.
That would make it easier to switch across and check out the latest discussions within each community that you’re a part of, while X is also looking to add keyword search in Communities as well, so you can get to the key topics that are of most interest.
Which will be of benefit, though as noted, Communities, thus far, hasn’t seen a heap of engagement, and without a significant change in focus, it’s hard to see this changing anytime soon.
Twitter originally launched Communities back in 2021, with the stated intent to “connect with people who Tweet like you”.
“Some conversations aren’t for everyone, just the people who want to talk about the thing you want to talk about. When you join a Community, you can Tweet directly to that group instead of to all your followers. Only members in the same Community are able to reply and join the conversation so it stays intimate and relevant.”
With the broader shift towards more enclosed discussion, Communities is a logical addition, but the more open nature of X, as a “global town square”, also runs counter to the Communities ethos, and it’s that mismatch that seems to have limited Communities take-up thus far.
But X CTO Elon Musk still sees potential there, and given that he has the engagement data, it may be that Communities is actually more popular than it seems.
Back in May, Musk announced that Circles, another enclosed group chat feature, would be deprecated in favor of improved features for DM chats and Communities, both of which show significantly more promise. The X team has since began testing new entry questions for community membership, in order to filter out spammers, while it’s also now showing posts from communities that you’ve joined in the ‘For You’ feed to increase awareness and engagement.
As it continues to evolve Communities, it could still become a bigger engagement surface in the app, though it remains to be seen whether X users actually want to interact in more focused, private groups, or if they’d prefer to share with all, in order to improve their reach and engagement.
That probably varies by group, and there are likely some highly engaged Communities in the app, and maybe, that’s enough incentive to keep X developing its Communities tools.
Whatever the reason, you’ll soon have more Community discovery tools, which could enhance your topical engagement options in the app.