Twitter Opens Up Super Follows to All Users on iOS
Twitter has opened up its new ‘Super Follow’ option to all users on iOS, which will provide more monetization potential for creators, expanding the capacity for them to draw direct income from their biggest fans.
Super Follows allows Twitter users with more than 10k followers to establish a monthly membership price (up to $9.99) to monetise additional, unique content for their most engaged followers in the app. It was first available for public applications in June and then debuted in restricted beta in September.
Once enabled, producers will have a new ‘Super Followers’ audience selection option for their tweets, limiting the reach of their material to just their paying subscribers.
This gives you another another way to monetize your tweet content, and it’s all part of Twitter’s larger effort to encourage producers to tweet more frequently, increasing engagement and interaction in the app.
Super Follows is one of several new creator monetization schemes presently under development, with Twitter also testing:
- On profile tipping – Which is now available to all users over the age of 18 (on iOS only)
- Ticketed Spaces – Now available to US-based users with more than 1,000 followers that have hosted at least 3 Spaces in the last 30 days
- Spaces funding – Twitter introduced its Spark Spaces funding initiative last week, which will provide chosen participants with $2500 per month to help develop their audio social content
- Revue newsletter links – Not direct monetization, as such, but Twitter also now enables Revue newsletter creators to promote their subscription-based offerings direct on their profile and in tweets
The initiatives are part of Twitter’s broader plan to boost its usage and revenue, with the company looking to double both by 2023, in response to increased pressure on Twitter’s executive team to maximize that app’s performance.
In March last year, investment management firm Elliott Management Corp. bought up a significant stake in Twitter, with a view to pushing for the replacement of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who they view as failing to capitalize on the potential of the app, with his attention spread too thin across Twitter and Square, where he is also CEO.
Dorsey and his team were able to secure a stay of execution based on the fact that they established these lofty growth goals, which is why Twitter’s development trajectory has flipped dramatically since then, and we’re seeing a slew of new products and initiatives put out in the app.
They haven’t taken off yet, though. One of Twitter’s early initiatives, Fleets, was canceled after less than a year, and data shows that its monetization choices, which include its own Twitter Blue internal subscription offering, have failed to achieve substantial user adoption.
Last month, app analytics provider Sensor Tower reported that Twitter’s Super Follow option had only generated around $6,000 in the US, and around $600 in Canada, after its first two weeks of availability. At the minimum price point for Super Follows ($2.99), that would suggest that only 2 thousand users – or 0.005% of Twitter’s US user base – had subscribed to anyone in the app. And that’s at the most generous estimate.
While two weeks’ worth of data isn’t enough to go on, and Twitter is still figuring out how to best operate the program, the early numbers aren’t very encouraging, and Ticketed Spaces and tipping have both experienced relatively low response in their early stages.
Twitter is continually refining its methods for each of these elements. Twitter just announced that trending Spaces will now be highlighted under the Explore tab, which will greatly increase visibility and maybe lead to more broadcasters paying more attention to the option. This might make Ticketed Spaces a lot more popular, and giving people more access to Super Follows will only help Twitter improve its strategy and increase adoption.
It’s difficult to predict if any of these features will become a thing – but habitual behavior, such as asking Twitter users to pay for stuff they’ve previously been able to access for free, is certainly working against them.
Is there anyone whose exclusive tweets you’d pay to read? Aside from celebrities, there aren’t many Twitter users who could charge a price for their private ideas, and they’d also be restricting their own publicity potential by sharing with smaller groups rather than broadcasting to the whole app.
In a larger sense, Twitter still needs to communicate that transition for users and get them used to paying, which its move into eCommerce, which is still in its early stages, will likely assist with.
But it’s too early to tell right now. Perhaps if Twitter can promote more exclusive content and community development, as well as modify how consumers react to it, these new bets will pay off, and become a more profitable feature for both artists and Twitter. However, it appears to be a long way off.
And 2023 may arrive too soon for any benefits to be fully realized.
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