Twitter is now exploring a way to allow people make money from tweets. This has been met quickly with an online protest making “RIP Twitter” to trend. So this model allows users to get exclusive content from top accounts for a fee. The new feature is called Super Followers.
The new feature allows users subscribe to a accounts for content beyond the regular tweets. Instead of making this another news feed for exclusive content, this could instead come in form of videos and maybe newsletters from influencers to their followers.
In as much as there is opposition to it, it doesn’t change anything about what Twitter is as you can still keep enjoying the trends and news feed from people and brands you follow. So think about it this way, Nigerian music star Davido can decide to hold a concert for his nearly 9 million followers for a fee. A writer can do book reading and organize other singing events directly on Twitter for a fee to their followers who may choose to go on with or not.
The monthly subscription which they say is around $4.99 per month could be another source of revenue for Twitter. The company reported an average figure of 192 million users which was a 27 percent increase from a year ago. This comparison was based on a measure the company uses and it is called monetizable daily active users, or mDAU. Wall Street’s expectation for this was 193.5 million. In other words, Twitter’s earning beat Wall Street’s expectation but its growth in users fell short in the fourth quarter of 2020. In other words, Twitter grew and made money but didn’t make enough so by opening up parts of its services to subscription, it could be a big source of revenue.
Twitter’s head of consumer product Kayvon Beykpour said the Super Followers feature will be available later this year but they could allow super users to customsie their payment which means the subscription fee could well go beyond $4.99.
This is a welcome news to the likes of Justin Beiber and other top artists who may have received a hit from the pandemic that forced many people indoors in the last one year. They could start bringing services and concerts to their followers on Twitter. Twitter will of course get a cut of the total revenue generated by a super user and could see its revenue jump from 2022.
But Twitter says it isn’t just looking at the money. Twitter’s chief design officer Dantley Davis said “an audience-funded model where subscribers can directly fund the content that they value most is a durable incentive model that aligns the interests of creators and consumers.”
The announcement came during Twitter’s first virtual Analyst Day event where Twitter leaders were pressed on their plans and forecasts for the years ahead. The microblogging site said that it projects to double its annual revenue from 3.7 billion in 2020 to $7.5 billion in 2023 as well as boosting daily user growth from its current 192 million to 315 million in the next two years.
At the event, they also announced coming feature called Communities that is modelled after Facebook Groups. Users can create and join groups around interests and topics. Twitter already has a Topics feature that allows you see tweets around your favourite topics. So you get to see tweets under a topic from users even if you don’t follow those users.
Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s chief legal officer, told the analysts and investors that as human communication continues to evolve in many forms, “so too will technology.”
They acknowledge though that this may not be perfect at first but that they will get it better as time goes on.