X is embracing a feature that has become increasingly prevalent in Facebook Groups: the use of mandatory questions to screen prospective members. In an announcement made today, the company, previously recognized as Twitter, revealed that administrators of private Communities on X now have the option to request that users respond to a specific question when they seek admission, in addition to agreeing to the group’s established rules. These responses will enable administrators and moderators to better assess membership requests and provide a rudimentary defense against spammers and bots who may disrupt the group with unwanted content.
This feature might also pave the way for Communities on X to attain a more exclusive status, where only selected individuals gain entry based on their responses as administrators determine their suitability. On the flip side, this feature could be used to prevent individuals who might flag or report the group’s content from gaining access to groups that push the boundaries of X’s terms and policies.
Facebook Groups already offers a similar questions feature, but it is more extensive. On Facebook, group administrators can require potential members to answer multiple questions and ensure they adhere to the group’s specific rules. Some groups even quiz potential members about the group’s rules to verify if they have been read.
While anyone can create a Facebook Group, forming and managing Communities on X is a privilege reserved for X Premium subscribers, as only “verified” users have the ability to create a Community. Verification is a primary feature of X’s paid subscription. However, joining Communities is open to all X users, resulting in some larger groups with substantial user bases. For instance, the Apple Community boasts 52,500 members, Tech Twitter has 29,500 members, The Design Sphere has 117,000 members, and Movie Twitter has 119,600 members, to mention a few of the prominent groups. Yet, the broader adoption of this feature may be restricted by the fact that not all users can create their own Community.
It is worth noting that Communities have survived Elon Musk’s ownership of X, despite various features and services being discontinued under his leadership, such as the newsletter platform Revue, support for ad-free news articles, support for third-party clients, and the private Circle feature for sharing content with friends. The platform has also placed TweetDeck, now known as XPro, behind a paywall and increased access prices for its developer API.
Presently, Communities appear to be an underdeveloped feature that doesn’t seamlessly integrate into X’s rapid-scrolling timeline. They provide a quieter and more secluded space for individuals to post about specific topics or themes. It remains uncertain what broader vision X has for its group feature or whether they will play a more prominent role in X’s service, and if so, how that will unfold.