SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter said Thursday it plans to introduce a subscription service in which users pay for private content from high-profile accounts, as part of an economic model to diversify its revenue.
The world-famous social media platform announced a potential new Super Follows service at its annual investor meeting, as it searches for new revenue streams beyond targeted ads.
“Exploring audience funding opportunities such as Super Follows will allow creators and publishers to be directly supported by their audiences and motivate them to continue creating content that their audiences love,” a Twitter spokesperson told AFP.
Twitter’s top executives discuss the super followers while setting goals and plans for the near future during the streaming presentation.
We study and rethink our service incentives – “The behaviors that our product features encourage and discourage when people engage in a conversation on Twitter,” said the spokesperson.
Super Follows was described during the presentation as a way for Twitter fans to financially support creators and receive newsletters, exclusive content, and even virtual badges in return.
Twitter, which is currently earning from promoted ads and posts, may be able to add additional revenue via Super Follows transactions.
Creative Strategist Analyst Carolina Milanesi wasn’t convinced that people would be tempted to pay for private content on Twitter.
She said such a model makes sense for content on platforms like YouTube, where hours of craftsmanship might be devoted to producing entertaining videos, but the same could be said of tweets on Twitter.
No timeline has been set for when super-followers might become a feature, but the tech giant is expected to release more announcements in the coming months.
Twitter is also considering letting users join themed communities via a feature that looks similar to Facebook’s “groups”.
Twitter aims to reach 315 million “monetized” users in 2023, a sharp increase from 192 million users at the end of last year, according to a filing with US financial market regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The San Francisco-based company has identified monetizing users as people who log in daily and whose ads can be displayed.
Twitter, like Google and Facebook, makes most of its money from digital advertising.
The company said it aims to generate $ 7.5 billion in revenue in 2023, more than double the $ 3.7 billion it received last year.
Twitter also plans to double its “development speed,” which means the number of new features it releases to each employee to get people to engage more with the service.
Bruce Falk, Twitter’s revenue product leader, told analysts that the tech company was aware of a potential revenue cut that could stem from new privacy labels that Apple is imposing on apps on its mobile devices.
App makers are concerned that labels will discourage users from allowing data used to target ads more effectively.
“It’s still too early to tell how this will affect the industry, but the entire industry will feel it,” Falk said, adding that Twitter was innovating to cushion the blow.
Twitter’s plan to increase revenue also includes getting more involved in online commerce.
“Imagine that you easily discover a new skincare product and buy it quickly, or a trendy sneaker from a brand new follow in just a few clicks,” a Twitter executive told analysts.
The area where Twitter is also looking to make money is Fleets, a recently added feature where posts and conversations disappear after a day.