That blasted bird app we can’t stay away from is once again thinking about how to make money beyond advertising.
A new report from Bloomberg sheds light onto internal discussions happening at Twitter, with research looking into potential premium content streams that people might pay for, such as an ad-free experience.
Other ideas include a subscription model for Tweetdeck, the free desktop version of Twitter capable of displaying multiple feeds at once, and opening up the ability to pay to access users for exclusive content — similar to how you pay to access paywall-gated content on Patreon or OnlyFans.
Twitter has had a mixed bag of recent ideas, with the aptly-named Fleets feature a ghost town weeks after launching, while taking action against misinformation was a refreshing change from the typically hands-off approach social media companies favour.
Bloomberg‘s report elaborates that one subscription model Twitter is exploring is known internally as “Rogue One”.
If this project bears any resemblance to the Star Wars film of the same name, then surely it means everyone involved is going to die en route to a bygone conclusion, which doesn’t exactly bode well for anyone.
Twitter users frequently lament the lack of an edit function, but another potential premium offering could cure what ails them: an “undo send” function. It’s not clear how this would differ to simply deleting a tweet — your guess is as good as mine.
In a statement to Bloomberg, Bruce Falck, Twitter’s head of revenue products, said discussions are still in their infancy.
“Increasing revenue durability is our top company objective,” Falck said. “While we’re excited about this potential, it’s important to note we are still in very early exploration and we do not expect any meaningful revenue attributable to these opportunities in 2021.”
Although ideas about monetising social media have done the rounds for years, Twitter might take it more seriously than most, considering its advertising revenue is lower than competitors.
Another significant point of contention would be the price for such product offerings. It would make sense if the premium access to creators’ content was set at a user level, but how much would you be willing to pay for Tweetdeck after years of using it for free?
We’ll keep an eye on this as it develops. In the meantime, continue to doomscroll for free while you can.
Do you like what you're reading on Byteside? We're building a diverse, remotely distributed team of Australians to cover the digital world we love so much. And we need your support to thrive.
Whether a one-off donation or becoming a monthly supporter, every little helps pay the writers who are working here.
We're not in line for any free money from Facebook or Google. And we're not paywalling any content because we want everyone to be able to access what we do whether they can afford to pay or not. If you're one who can, a few dollars really does help us grow the pool and support writers to do great original work about tech, games and digital culture. Support Byteside now.