Are Twitter subscriptions the future? Get the tea on the bizarre feature
In media, advertising revenue-based models have been heavily criticized for influencing the veracity & ethics of publications. Such criticisms led to a pivot towards subscription-based models. Content is now paywalled behind subscriptions & considering the sheer amount of noise that has to be cut through to reach people, subscription-based models have garnered quite a positive reputation.
So, when Twitter had expressed interest in paid models — or at least a freemium model — it didn’t come as a shock. In order to supplement its advertising revenue, Twitter had been exploring options for monetizing the site for a while now. In February, Bloomberg had reported about this interest.
Earlier this month, Twitter had introduced one such feature called the Tip Jar. The company blog described Tip Jar as “an easy way to support the incredible voices that make up the conversation on Twitter. This is a first step in our work to create new ways for people to receive and show support on Twitter – with money.”
Huge heads up on PayPal Twitter Tip Jar. If you send a person a tip using PayPal, when the receiver opens up the receipt from the tip you sent, they get your *address*. Just tested to confirm by tipping @yashar on Twitter w/ PayPal and he did in fact get my address I tipped him. https://t.co/R4NvaXRdlZ pic.twitter.com/r8UyJpNCxu
— Rachel Tobac (@RachelTobac) May 6, 2021
Tipping the balance in favor of money
The blog had shared that their intentions were rooted in creating a system for rewarding the creators on the app, much like Patreon or Gumroad does, “We $ee you – sharing your PayPal link after your Tweet goes viral, adding your $Cashtag to your profile so people can support your work, dropping your Venmo handle on your birthday or if you just need some extra help.”
It added, “You drive the conversation on Twitter and we want to make it easier for you to support each other beyond Follows, Retweets, and Likes. Today, we’re introducing Tip Jar – a new way for people to send and receive tips.” But cybersecurity experts soon caught some privacy issues with the system. The team at Twitter acknowledged those issues.
Now, they’re rolling out the subscription-based tier, it seems.
Twitter is calling their upcoming Subscription Service “Twitter Blue”, priced at $2.99/month for now, including paid features like:
Undo Tweets: https://t.co/CrqnzIPcOH
Collections: https://t.co/qfFfAXHp1o pic.twitter.com/yyMStpCkpr
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) May 15, 2021
Your wallet can now edit your tweets
Here’s the update: An in-app purchase called “Twitter Blue” was spotted in Apple’s App Store earlier this week by researcher Jane Manchun Wong. Wong shared, “Twitter is calling their upcoming Subscription Service ‘Twitter Blue’, priced at $2.99/month for now, including paid features…” The subscription, priced at $2.99 according to the screenshots, will make some premium features available to the users.
These features & functions will include an “undo send” option, saving & organizing your favorite tweets into collections (which sounds like a superior version of the current bookmarks & very similar to what Facebook & Instagram provide their users), auto-responses.
We’re still keeping our eyes out for the edit button, because so far, the features have been declared underwhelming by many. For brands, there might be some merit to the subscription in the form of the ability to run brand surveys and added “social listening” analytics.
Twitter is also working on tiered subscription pricing model, with one tier having more paid features than the other
For example, users on higher-priced tiers could enjoy premium experiences, such as clutter-free news reading experience (Twitter is acquiring @tryscroll recently) https://t.co/IffFugLxpx
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) May 15, 2021
Ambitious plans underway
Wong had also shared “Twitter is also working on tiered subscription pricing model, with one tier having more paid features than the other. For example, users on higher-priced tiers could enjoy premium experiences, such as clutter-free news reading experience (Twitter is acquiring @tryscroll recently).”
That’s public knowledge now: Twitter acquired the ad-free clutter-free reading service Scroll earlier this month. The idea behind Scroll is to give a smooth reading experience, sans any ads, pop-ups, or a version of that digital noise that’s made our digital reading experience so overwhelming. This reading experience might also a part of the new subscription.
At the time of the acquisition announcement, Scroll CEO Tony Haile said, “Twitter exists to serve the public conversation. Journalism is the mitochondria of that conversation. It initiates, energizes, and informs. It converts and confounds perspectives. At its best, it helps us stand in one another’s shoes and understand each other’s common humanity.”
He added, “The mission we’ve been given by Jack and the Twitter team is simple: take the model and platform that Scroll has built and scale it so that everyone who uses Twitter has the opportunity to experience an internet without friction and frustration, a great gathering of people who love the news and pay to sustainably support it.”
Twitter is also working on a survey for ones who signed up for Twitter Blue, asking them:
1. the reason why they signed up for Twitter Blue
2. the current use cases they are primarily using Twitter for pic.twitter.com/gAt4DC0LrJ
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) May 28, 2021
Wong shared today that “Twitter is also working on a survey for ones who signed up for Twitter Blue, asking them: 1. the reason why they signed up for Twitter Blue 2. the current use cases they are primarily using Twitter for.” Looks like Jack & the team are leaving no stone unturned & no touchpoint untouched to secure feedback on their plans.