June 19, 2021

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Twitter Eyes Subscriptions for Premium Features via @MattGSouthern

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Twitter is reportedly looking to add a new stream of revenue by offering premium features through a monthly subscription.

A report from Bloomberg states the motivation behind adding subscription-based features is to ease Twitter’s dependence on advertising.

This is something Twitter has wanted to do for years, Bloomberg says, as a majority of the company’s revenue comes from advertising.

The pandemic is accelerating Twitter’s plans to diversify its revenue streams, along with the realization that user growth in the US is starting to plateau.

With the US being Twitter’s most valuable market, the company cannot rely on growing revenue through the traditional method of adding new users.

People “familiar with the effort” tell Bloomberg that Twitter is actively exploring subscription offerings.

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Twitter publicly explored this idea last year through surveys asking users what they’d like to see from a subscription service.

Ideas considered at the time were an undo send feature, custom colors, longer video uploads, special badges, auto responses, and others.

An option to pay Twitter to see fewer ads was discussed as well, but nothing came of these proposed premium offerings.

As detailed in Bloomberg’s report, all premium features Twitter was considering are on the table along with new ideas that could result in a share of revenue going to content creators.

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Here’s more about the potential subscription-based features Twitter is reportedly discussing internally.

What Would Twitter Offer in a Subscription?

A subscription fee would grant users access to features not currently available.

To be sure, everything users can do with Twitter right now will remain free. With one exception.

Tweetdeck

Twitter is considering putting Tweetdeck behind a subscription paywall. That means having to pay in order to use it at all, with or without any additional features.

Tweetdeck is currently free, but it’s by no means necessary in order to access Twitter. It’s an additional tool designed for power users.

Twitter has thought of charging for Tweetdeck before but never went through with it. Although the idea of paying for an advanced tool to utilize an otherwise free service is well accepted in digital marketing.

There are many premium third-party tools on the market that allow social media managers to use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks more efficiently. So it wouldn’t be unusual for Twitter to start charging for Tweetdeck.

Analytics

Advanced analytics is another premium feature Twitter could potentially offer through a subscription.

Users currently have access to basic analytics such as how many followers they gained in a month and how many impressions their tweets get.

An advanced set of analytics could include demographics, times that an audience is most active, and more granular data compared to what’s available now.

Exclusive content

Twitter could potentially offer exclusive content in exchange for a fee. The company recently acquired Revue, a newsletter startup, which could be an indication of Twitter’s plans to move in this direction.

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Another idea being discussed is “tipping” users in exchange for content that’s not available to everyone. Twitter would get a cut, but this could allow users to make money from Twitter for the first time.

From what I gather there’s been no discussion of adding an edit button as a premium feature. Although if Twitter ever needs an immediate surge of revenue, charging users a fee to edit tweets would be one way to get it.

Source: Bloomberg

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