Twitter has announced it will launch a “super follow” feature, which lets users charge followers for access to exclusive content, later this year.
The move comes as Twitter is branching out from advertising to find more ways to make money — both for itself and for its most prolific users.
In an investor presentation on Thursday, the social media company announced the new feature that will let users charge for extra, exclusive material not shown to their regular followers. This can include subscriber-only newsletters, videos, deals and discounts. Users would pay a monthly subscription fee to access the extra content.
“Why don’t we start with why folks don’t believe in us,” said chief executive Jack Dorsey at the start of Twitter’s virtual presentation. “It comes down to three critiques: we’re slow, we’re not innovative, and we’re not trusted.”
Twitter users – and the company’s investors – have long been asking it to launch a subscription-based model. This as a growing number of internet creators and influencers use tools like Patreon, Substack and OnlyFans to make money from their online popularity.
The subscriptions will also allow Twitter to tap into a broader range of revenue sources in a world where online advertising is dominated by a Facebook-Google duopoly. Twitter did not detail what percentage of the revenue it would share with celebrities and others who sign up paying subscribers.
“Exploring audience funding opportunities like Super Follows will allow creators and publishers to be directly supported by their audience and will incentivize them to continue creating content that their audience loves,” the company said in a statement.
Super Follows is not available yet but Twitter says it will have “more to share” in the coming months.
Another coming product, “Revue,” will let people publish paid or free newsletters to their audience. There’s also “Twitter Spaces,” a Clubhouse competitor that lets users participate in audio chats. It is currently in private beta testing, which means it’s not yet available to the general Twitter audience.
The San Francisco-based company also said its revenue goal for 2023 is more than $7.5bn, more than double its 2020 revenue of $3.7bn.