Twitter has launched its new ‘Super Follow’ option all iOS users, which will give creators more potential for monetization, expanding their capacity to generate direct revenue from their biggest fans.
Originally open to public apps back in June and then launched in a limited beta in September, Super Follows allows Twitter users with more than 10,000 followers to set up a monthly subscription (up to $ 9.99) to monetize additional, exclusive content for your most engaged companions in the app.
When activated, creators get a new ‘Super Follower’ audience selection option for their tweets, which limits the reach of their content to only paying subscribers.
This provides another way to build an audience that pays through your tweet content, as part of Twitter’s broader effort to provide more incentives for creators to tweet more often, increasing engagement and interaction in the app.
Super Follows is one of several new creator monetization projects in preparation, and Twitter is also currently testing:
- On the profile tip – What is now available to all users over the age of 18 (iOS only)
- Ticketed Spaces – Now available to US customers with more than 1,000 followers who have hosted at least 3 venues in the last 30 days
- Funding the space – Twitter last week unveiled its Spark Spaces funding initiative, which will provide selected participants are $ 2,500 a month to develop their audio content on social media
- Revue Newsletter Links – Not direct monetization, as such, but Twitter also now allows Revue newsletter creators to promote their subscription-based offers directly on their profile and in tweets
The initiatives are part of Twitter’s broader plan to increase its use and revenue, with the company looking to double by 2023, in response to increased pressure on Twitter’s executive team to maximize the app’s performance.
In March last year, investment management firm Elliott Management Corp. bought a significant stake in Twitter, with the aim of advocating for the replacement of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who they believe has not exploited the app’s potential, and his attention has spread too much on Twitter and Square, where he is also CEO.
Dorsey and his team managed to agree on a postponement of execution, based on setting these ambitious growth goals, which is why Twitter’s development momentum has shifted so significantly since then, and we see that many new products and projects will be launched into applications.
Although, so far, they have not taken off. One of Twitter’s early attempts, Fleets, was canceled after less than a year, while data show that its monetization options, which also include Twitter Blue’s own internal subscription offer, are still not experiencing a significant increase among users.
Last month, sensor analytics vendor Sensor Tower announced that it was Twitter The Super Follow option generated only about $ 6,000 in the U.S. and about $ 600 in Canada, after the first two weeks of availability. At the minimum price for Super Follows ($ 2.99), that would mean that only 2,000 users – or 0.005% of Twitter’s user base in the US – subscribed to anyone in the app. And by the most generous assessment.
And while two weeks isn’t enough data to continue, and Twitter is still working on how to effectively implement the program, the early numbers aren’t overly inspiring, while Ticketed Spaces and Tip also had a relatively small response in their early stages.
Again, Twitter is still developing its strategies for each element. Just this week, Twitter announced that it will now highlight trending spaces on the Explore tab, which will significantly increase exposure, and later it could be seen that more broadcasters are paying more attention to this option. This Ticketed Spaces could do much bigger things, while the wider Super Follows approach can only help Twitter optimize its approach and encourage usage.
It’s hard to say whether any of these elements will become a thing – but one thing they’re likely to work against is the usual behavior, asking Twitter users to pay for things they’ve traditionally been able to access for free.
Is there anyone you would pay to read their exclusive tweets? Aside from celebrities, there are probably not many Twitter users who could claim compensation for their exclusive thoughts, while they would also significantly limit their own exposure potential by sharing with smaller groups, as opposed to broadcasting to everyone in the app.
In a broader sense, Twitter still needs to translate that change for users and make them more accustomed to spending, which is likely to be helped by its pushing into e-commerce, which is also at an early stage.
But at the moment it is too early to say. Perhaps, if Twitter can encourage more exclusive content and community building, and change the way audiences respond to it, these new bets will work and become a more lucrative element for both the creators and Twitter itself. But it still seems far away.
And 2023 may come too soon for the full realization of any benefits.
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