After launching an initial test of the option with selected users back in May, Twitter is now taking the next step with its creator monetization push, by making on-profile tipping available to all users.
As explained by Twitter:
“Whether you want to tip your favorite account because you adore their commentary, send some love to an emerging comedy creator for their hilarious Tweets, help a small business owner through a difficult time, give to an important cause - whatever you want to support (and we know you already have some ideas), Tips is here to help you do it.”
As it sounds, tipping enables Twitter users to activate a tip jar button on their profile, which then facilitates direct donations from profile visitors in the app.
Payment providers supported include Bandcamp, Cash App, Patreon and Razorpay, giving people a range of options to transfer money to others through the app.
But the bigger announcement on this front is the addition of Bitcoin tips, with users also now able to add their Bitcoin address or their Strike account to their payment options.
Given Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s affinity for Bitcoin, the addition makes sense, while it could also help to further align the platform with crypto payment services, and make Twitter tips a bigger option in this respect.
But then again, maybe it won’t – because the results we’ve seen from Twitter’s experiments and updates thus far haven’t exactly changed the perception of the app, or how people use tweets to connect.
Twitter’s revved-up development focus has delivered many new options in recent months, but they’ve seen limited usage results, with its creator revenue tools like Super Follows and Ticketed Spaces failing to gain significant traction just yet.
But it's early days, and Twitter’s tools could still catch on, and they could indeed help Twitter generate more usage by prompting the app’s most popular creators to keep sharing more often, and keep broadcasting exclusives to their Twitter audience.
But there are, seemingly, some inherent challenges here. The main impediment is the fact that people have always been able to access tweets for free, so the idea that they might need to pay for extras is a little jarring - and as noted, people don’t seem to be willing to front up the cash for any of these features as it stands.
Last week, TechCrunch reported that just .005% of Twitter’s US user base has signed up for its new Super Follow feature, which enables creators to charge a monthly fee for exclusive content. That, at least in part, comes down to what the creators themselves are offering, but it also suggests there’s might be a steep hill to climb in re-aligning user behaviors towards paying for content in the app.
What do you offer that’s worth that extra money? Sure, Twitter’s Revue integration enables writers to provide newsletter content to their paying audience, but outside of that, are people really going to pay for exclusive tweets? What can you offer in a tweet that would make it worth the money – and with Twitter’s focus on real-time news updates, will creators want to limit the audience for their exclusive announcements, when they could get a much bigger response by posting publicly?
It seems that Twitter’s use case and its Super Follows option don’t really align, which, again, will mean a re-education of users is required to maximize adoption of these alternate usage behaviors.
Tipping, in large part, is along the same lines. Maybe some of your biggest supporters will be keen to donate, but not many Twitter users, you would think, would be in a position to attract any significant money from donations.
Charity drives could be an alternate use case that could gain traction, while the addition of crypto payments could add another element to the equation, riding the Bitcoin hype train - and maybe that aspect alone will see increased adoption.
We’ll soon find out, with tipping being made available in everyone’s Twitter account settings, beginning with iOS users, then expanding to Android over the coming weeks.
You can find more information about enabling Tips on your profile here.