What additional Twitter features would you pay for to enhance your in-app experience?
Last July, Twitter sent out a survey to some users which posed this exact question, along with a range of potential paid tools that it may look to offer, and since then, the platform has been developing its new set of subscriber options in alignment with those responses.
Which may soon lead to the next stage - according to a new finding by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, Twitter will soon look to launch 'Twitter Blue', which will enable users to pay a fee of $2.99 per month to access a range of these next-level Twitter functions.
As you can see in this screenshot, shared by Wong, Twitter Blue would provide access to new tools like Collections for Bookmarks, which would enable users to categorize their saved tweets into topic folders, while Wong also notes that it would give users access to an 'undo tweets' option that would let users retract their tweets within a certain period after posting.
Which is not exactly tweet editing, but would provide an extra option to re-check and correct tweet errors.
Would that be worth $3 a month?
It may not be the only option - Wong additionally notes that:
"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 acquired Scroll recently)."
Scroll, which Twitter acquired earlier this month, provides a service which enables users to pay a single subcription fee to Scroll which is then applied to each individual article that they read from partner sites, enabling users to avoid paywalls, and remove in-content ads, without having to subscribe to every publication individually. Scroll then passes on the relevant fees from your Scroll subscription to the relevant websites based on your activity.
Wong's prediction is that this would be incorporated into another tier - let's say 'Twitter Red' or 'Twitter Green' for example - with each providing a different level of access to these add-on features.
So what other kinds of features could be on offer to lure these new tweet subscriptions?
As noted, in July last year, Twitter sent out a survey calling for user feedback on potential subscription options.
???? Here’s a list of features Twitter may be considering for its paid / subscription service— ???? Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) July 31, 2020
Which would you be willing to pay for? pic.twitter.com/w8vYumrpx3
Those possible add-ons included:
- Undo send - An option to recall your sent tweets within a 30-second window
- Custom color options - New ways to customize your Twitter profile presentation
- Advanced video publishing tools - The capacity to publish significantly longer videos in your tweets
- Profile badges - A profile badge that links back to your business/employer
- Auto replies - The capacity to add auto-response options to use in your tweet replies
- Social listening - More insights into your tweet engagement and discussion around your Twitter handle
- Brand surveys - An option to run surveys about your Twitter ads to get more feedback
- Custom stickers and hashtags - The capability to create custom stickers and 'hashflag' emoji-linked hashtags
- Job ads - Optional job ad listings
- Administrator role management - New options to define how staff/contractors can control Twitter your account
- Insights into other accounts - More analytics options, including the capacity to see all your past reactions with any account
- Education resources - Access to more Twitter training courses and tools
So going on this, it seems like maybe an alternative 'Twitter Red' subscriber tier could be focused on professional usage, with more tools to help social media marketers better manage their tweet activity, including additional insights into performance, and new customer feedback tools.
Which could be worth the additional investment, while charging for on-profile badges, or maybe even business account tools, could be another element under consideration.
Twitter shared a preview of its in-development profile badges and tools for businesses recently, as it sought further feedback from potential brand users on what it should be focusing on.
That could also include new, variable display options on business profiles for products, apps, etc.
Which is interesting, and would add a range of new considerations for your tweet connection and promotion options, while Twitter is also developing new on-platform eCommerce tools, which could add another valuable tool into the mix.
But what if these tools weren't made available for free? What if Twitter did eventually make these available, but if a business wanted to use them, they'd have to pay, say, $5 per month for 'Twitter Red' (or whatever color it may be) membership?
Would you pay?
Even if you wouldn't, I'm guessing that at least some percentage of business users would, and with Twitter also re-opening profile verification, likely next week, all the elements appear to align.
So while, at first blush, many will instinctively balk at the idea of paying for these new Twitter features, and mock the suggestion that anyone would give Twitter money for such, it could actually end up being a big winner for the platform.
Imagine the millions of businesses that are active on Twitter right now. Twitter doesn't currently offer business profiles, so we can only guess at this figure, but as a comparison, more than 200 million businesses are currently active on Facebook.
Let's say that half of those brands are also active on Twitter (100m), and that maybe 20% of them might pay an extra $5 per month for these new business add-on tools. That would lead to $100 million more per month coming into Twitter's coffers, or $300m per quarter. That would equate to a 33% increase in Twitter's revenue rate, in a single stroke.
This doesn't seem so out of the question - so while it's possible that Twitter Blue, for individual users, may not become a massive hit, maybe it wouldn't need to. Maybe, the bigger element is the expanded business tools, and the additional offerings that Twitter could build into its tiered subscriber options.
Yet, even within that consideration, some people are going to pay $3 for a few extra Twitter tools - and even if only 1% of Twitter's current userbase signs on for such, that would still be an extra $6 million per month (+$18m per quarter) for the company.
Yes, it may seem like a stretch to expect people to pay for a couple of extra tweet features, but you may also be missing the bigger picture. We don't have enough to go on at this stage, and Twitter's keeping quiet for now. But the full scope of this launch may be far more significant, and valuable, than we can currently see.
We'll keep you updated on any progress.