Twitter exploring subscription model and other features to augment revenue

Twitter exploring subscription model and other features to augment revenue

Twitter is reportedly looking at alternative ways to bring in revenue, with a subscription model being one possibility. This would make the social network less reliant on targeted advertising.

According to Bloomberg, Twitter’s subscription product has gained more steam over the last several months thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and pressure from activist investors.

“Twitter, the thinking goes, would benefit from a separate revenue stream that isn’t as reliant on brand advertising,” Bloomberg said. “The company’s user base in the U.S., its most valuable market, has also started to plateau, meaning it can’t rely on simply adding users to juice revenue.”

Twitter is exploring a few different ideas. One would be related to “tipping,” which would allow users to pay people for exclusive content. The social network might also charge to use services like TweetDeck, a popular Twitter alternative that makes it easy to manage multiple accounts and lists.

Twitter might also charge a fee that would give users access to premium features, including “undo send” and advanced profile customization options. A feature that isn’t mentioned in Bloomberg’s report, but one that people would undoubtedly pay for, is the ability to edit Tweets. It’s a feature Twitter users have requested for years.

Social media platforms are typically free as a way to grow their user base and also encourage engagement. The cost of running these services is offset by ads. But ad spending has slowed considerably thanks to the pandemic, which is why Twitter is now seriously considering premium options. Bloomberg notes that Twitter has entertained the idea of subscription options for a few years, but things are still “very, very early.”

Twitter’s head of revenue product Bruce Falck told Bloomberg that increasing the social network’s durability “is our top company objective.”

In addition to exclusive content or charging for TweetDeck, Twitter is reportedly considering other possible premium features, including high-quality video, more in-depth analytic tools, and a feed that’s ad-free. The latter feature, however, could heavily cut into Twitter’s most prominent business.

“While we’re excited about this potential, it’s important to note as are still in very early exploration and we do not expect any meaningful revenue attributable to these opportunities in 2021,” Falck said.

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Twitter
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Brandon Russell
Brandon Russell

Brandon's love of technology can be traced back to his childhood, when he would obsessively watch Back to the Future. Since then he's followed the industry and its many innovations, from handheld consoles to powerful smartphones. He's still waiting on a hoverboard.