Twitter launched a global test of a tool called “community” on Wednesday, which is to Facebook groups and allows users to send tweets to people with similar interests. This feature is currently being tested on and the Web, and Android users will get it soon.

in a Blog post, Twitter said that some users can create communities, and more will be added in the coming months. The company did not disclose the number of users who can create communities in the test, but any user can join a group if invited.

The community is publicly visible, but at this stage people need to be invited by moderators or other members to join.

The social media company has launched a series of new features in recent months, including subscription-based “super follow” and real-time audio chat rooms, aimed at reversing years of business stagnation.

Since 2017, larger social media competitor Facebook has made its private or public groups a strategic focus. But Facebook groups have also been used to spread political and health misinformation and organize extremist activities, leading the company to announce the types of groups it to users.

Twitter said it will adjust its rules and enforcement actions to ensure the safety of people in the community, including developing methods to proactively identify groups that may be problematic.

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“Some of the initial communities we are testing revolve around popular conversations on Twitter,” said David Regan, Twitter’s product manager, in a blog post. He said these include “dogs, weather, sneakers, skin care products, astrology, and more.”

Users will act as community moderators, setting and implementing standards for their groups. During the test, the company is approving moderators and will work closely with them.

A Twitter spokesperson said the company has conducted and consulted with experts in the past year, “to better understand how the community may be used and abused.”

© Thomson Reuters 2021