After testing the option out with selected users over the past couple of months, Twitter has today announced that it’s opening up Ticketed Spaces to more users, providing another way for creators to make money from their on-platform efforts.
As explained by Twitter:
“We want to help people creating cool Spaces make $$$. Today, some Hosts will be able create Ticketed Spaces! We’re experimenting on iOS only for now but we hope to get it to everyone soon. Know it’s taking us a little time, but we want to get this right for you!”
Okay, that probably makes more contextual sense as a tweet, where the odd grammar doesn’t seem as out of place.
we want to help people creating cool Spaces make $$$. today, some Hosts will be able create Ticketed Spaces!— Spaces (@TwitterSpaces) August 26, 2021
we’re experimenting on iOS only for now but we hope to get it to everyone soon. know it’s taking us a little time, but we want to get this right for you! https://t.co/xc68yWkOim
Well, it still does a bit – but the point is that some users will now be able to create ticketed Spaces, which is another consideration for audio broadcasters to factor into their strategic calculations.
Ticketed Spaces provides an additional avenue for creator monetization on the platform, which is a key element in Twitter's broader strategy to boost usage, and attract more users.
Back in February, at its Analyst Day overview session, Twitter’s executives outlined their plan to reach 315 million monetizable daily active users on the platform over the next three years - which is an additional 109 million actives on top of what it’s seeing right now.
That’s particularly ambitious when you consider that over the past three years, Twitter has only added 83 million mDAU, and that covers the period in which former US President Donald Trump used Twitter as his key communications medium of choice, often updating US policy stances in public via tweet.
If Twitter couldn’t maximize its usage during the Trump Presidency, what chance does it have now, and what impetus will people have to download the app at a high enough rate to significantly boost its usage numbers?
Ideally, its creator monetization features will play a key role in this, by providing new incentive for popular creators to post more content to Twitter, and to interact with their large audiences more often in the app. If Twitter can get more exclusive updates, that will keep people coming back – but will these elements really attract new audiences, and will Twitter users actually pay for add-on elements like this?
You can see, for example, ticketed Spaces working if it was an interview session with a big-name star or industry identity, but how far does that extend? Would you pay to hear a Twitter 'influencer' speak in a Space?
Probably not, right? So there are some limits on how effective it will be in this respect, and while many people who’ve built a Twitter following are enthusiastic about the opportunity to make money from that audience, the truth is people won’t pay unless there’s a significant enough reason for them to do so.
Which is the challenge in all of Twitter’s new monetization offerings, from Newsletters to Super Follows and its own Twitter Blue add-on program. Most users won’t glean much benefit from these extra tools, and they won’t end up tweeting or coming back to the app more often as a result.
Maybe that doesn’t matter. Maybe, even if the majority of people can’t monetize their stuff, those who can will still be enough to drive more platform usage, and that will help to push Twitter’s user numbers forward.
Twitter’s user numbers did rise by 7 million between Q1 and Q2 this year, so it’s on the right trajectory – but then again, Twitter’s US audience actually declined in the period (-1m), which is where, you’d assume, most of these add-ons would be likely to see the most take-up (based on Average Revenue Per User stats).
Twitter will have to hope they catch on, because CEO Jack Dorsey is under significant pressure to improve the company's results, and if he can’t lead the platform to that magic 315 mDAU number, or its subsequent revenue targets, that’ll likely be his last hurrah, and he’ll no longer remain the CEO of both Square and Twitter concurrently.
Which could lead to even more change in the app, and a whole new approach at the platform. It’s still early days, and as noted, Twitter is on track based on current numbers. But it’ll be interesting to see whether its monetization options stick, and which end up becoming more significant elements on the platform.