[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Twitter To Start Charging For Tweets

Super Followers Launch In Subscription Drive 

Twitter is going to start charging users to see tweets.

That’s right; the notoriously free platform will start to allow certain accounts to monetise their content in new ways.

The new pay-for-posts feature will be called Super Follows. It will allow users to subscribe to their favourite accounts or creators for a monthly fee, a bit like Patreon, in exchange for subscriber-only goodies like exclusive content, community access or deals and discounts.

Creators will also be able to put their Fleets and Spaces chats behind their paywall.

Twitter, Facebook, Insta & more to explore subs revenue

Super Follows will change the landscape of Twitter forever.

The platform has built its reputation on providing one service to its whole userbase for free, but Twitter does have plans to double its revenue by 2023 (as per TechCrunch), which could be a key part of that strategy.

Twitter could be trying to manoeuvre itself away from an online discussion space towards a platform that caters for smaller communities and provides a place where users can access the latest news or interact with their favourite content creators and influencers in a purpose-built environment.

Who knows, we could even see other platforms follow suit as they look for monetisation opportunities beyond advertising.

For example, Facebook launched Fan Subscriptions for Groups last year.

Fan subscriptions allow fans to financially support the creators and pages they follow with a monthly recurring payment. In return, fans receive special perks such as exclusive content, live videos and more. One of the perks you can offer your subscribers is exclusive access to a private Facebook group.

Facebook subscriber group features include:

  1. Exclusive access: Fans can join their pages/creators in smaller groups for a more intimate social experience
  2. Feedback and community building: Pages can hear from and interact directly with their most passionate fans on a regular basis
  3. Communications and awareness: Subscriber groups are a place to keep dedicated fans updated on new content, merchandise launches, upcoming events and more

Likewise, within Instagram in 2020, it launched “Fan Badges” within Instagram Lives.

Instagram users will see three options to purchase a badge during live videos: badges that cost $0.99, $1.99, or $4.99.

On Instagram Live, badges not only highlight the fans’ comments they also unlock special features, including placement on a creator’s list of badge holders and access to a special heart badge.

Justin Osofsky, Instagram Chief Operating Officer

“Creators push culture forward. Many of them dedicate their life to this, and it’s so important to us that they have easy ways to make money from their content.

These are additional steps in our work to make Instagram the single best place for creators to tell their story, grow their audience, and make a living.

Competition could limit its use

The best stars or social media influencers will find a place for Super Follows, and we’ll almost certainly see them crafting unique content for Twitter to boost and diversify income.

However, the sheer volume of large accounts on the platform could make it difficult for anyone but the best and most established brands to charge for content successfully.

Imagine what Twitter’s most famous ex-user could have done with this? Super Followers alone could have probably funded a possible 2024 presidential run…

Although, when so much of Twitter is free, why would anyone pay to read or see content that they could access elsewhere for nothing? The recent rise of Substack, and similar, suggest they might.

Marketers can take advantage of Communities

Twitter Communities is a Facebook Group-style competitor, but Communities also seem primed to be a place where Super Follow networks can interact with the creators they follow.

There isn’t a great deal known about Communities other than it will be a more private place for like-minded communities to interact with each other on Twitter out of the public eye.

Twitter Spokesperson, via Vox

“[I]t still can be hard to find and connect directly with people who share your interests in focused conversations. This year, we’re making it easier for you to discover, participate, and form conversations with communities that share your interests.”

Twitter’s move to build smaller communities around specific topics could be good for brands and marketers as Communities may provide a place to target highly-relevant content that the right people view at the right time. However, this so little known about how Communities will eventually look and feel, we can do no more than speculate at this time.

These moves indicate that Twitter is moving to create more parts to its platform, and not all of them will be accessible to everyone.

At the end of this year, big accounts will have more control over their audience and have another way to monetise their content and build their following on Twitter.

After several years of very light, to minimal, original product development, Twitter looks to be finding its mojo again finally.

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