X continues to develop its Communities group engagement option, this time via the introduction of membership questions, to help filter those who are seeking to contribute to a group.
As you can see in this example, community admins on X will now be able to add an entry question, in order to help them assess whether that user will be allowed to join their group. The question will be displayed above the community rules, which they’ll then need to agree to for potential approval.
And while the example question here is pretty light, you could make this a more complex query, depending on the group. Maybe you could ask for a person to demonstrate their industry expertise or experience, by including a relevant link, or you could test their knowledge on a specific niche element, which would prove their worthiness of entry.
It could be a handy way to filter out likely non-contributors, or more importantly, spammers, which quickly became a problematic element in X/Twitter communities when the feature was first launched back in 2021.
A key problem back then was that in order to maximize take-up, X enabled approved community members to also invite a limited number of their own connections to expand the group size. Once approved, those new members could also invite even more people in, and eventually, member moderation got out of hand, and spammers ran rampant in many groups.
Which is a problem that’s killed many community engagement options, because nobody wants to get notified of a new group post, only to find out that it’s ol’ Ken with another random update on his outdated thoughts and opinions.
The former Twitter team did work to clean this up, by limiting who could join, and the X crew is now going further again, as it believes that Communities can be a key feature to help maximize engagement and retention in the app.
Though I’m not so sure.
Neither the Twitter nor X team has provided any official numbers on Communities usage, but some staff have noted that Communities uptake has been steady. So maybe there’s more to it than it seems, but it does seem like, for most people who post to X, they really want to get the maximum reach possible, and as such posting to a more enclosed, smaller sub-group seems to run counter to that aim.
Factor into this X’s new creator ad revenue share program, which incentivizes broader exposure, and that makes it even less appealing, while the fact that only 20% of X users ever post anything at all in the app significantly limits the pool of potential contributors to said groups.
But that’s also the key element that X is trying unlock, with the theory being that more users might contribute in the app if they didn’t have to do so in full public view.
Which may be correct. But probably not.
In any event, X is pushing ahead, while it’s also recently added Community recommendations to its Explore tab to help maximize take-up. And entry questions is a good addition, I’m just not sure that X users are ever going to find significant value in a more siloed conversational offering in the app.
But maybe, with pinned groups, post search, and other elements on the way, X Communities will become a more relevant offering in future.