In a totally unsurprising move, Twitter’s looking to gate-off yet another element for Twitter Blue subscribers, with creator subscriptions soon to be made available to paying Twitter users only.
As you can see in this screenshot, posted by app researcher Nima Owji, Twitter’s creator subscriptions, which it re-launched earlier this month, will soon only be available if you pay $8 per month to subscribe to the app.
Which, like forcing advertisers to also sign up for Blue, is an odd paradox, in that you need to pay Twitter in order to be paid by the app – or in the case of advertisers, pay Twitter to then pay more again for ads.
Twitter’s updated creator subscription program – originally called ‘Super Follows’ when it was first launched in 2021 – will now enable all users with 500 followers to monetize their Twitter presence, by offering add-on and exclusive content for paying subscribers. The program was originally restricted to users with over 10k followers, but this refreshed variation will give a lot more Twitter users the opportunity to make money from their content – if they’re able to provide adequate add-on incentives.
Creators will be able to charge $2.99, $4.99, or $9.99 per month for access to their exclusive elements, with all of the revenue being passed on to creators for the first year.
Though now, they’ll also have to add an $8 per month tax for Twitter Blue as well, which will further limit your revenue potential. Which some will see as a necessary and logical expansion within Twitter’s ongoing subscription revenue push, which Twitter claims is designed to weed out spammers and scammers in the app.
But still, having to pay will further limit take-up, especially in developing markets.
But Twitter’s determined to make as many people pay as possible, with Twitter chief Elon Musk seeing paid social as an inevitability, and a necessary step in ensuring the long-term viability of the app.
Now he just needs users to agree – and while Twitter is already making money from Twitter Blue, at 650k subscribers, or just 0.25% of its active user base, it still seems like a risky approach to force users to pay to access such features.
It also remains to be seen whether users will care about tweet subscriptions anyway. I mean, they didn’t when Twitter first launched Super Follows, which flopped pretty quickly, once subscribers realized that they were mostly paying for tweets that they once got for free. Essentially, the whole system rides on individual creators being able to establish viable monetization pathways, and most will likely fail as they struggle to introduce and maintain new incentives, at mostly lower returns, a least in the early going.
But again, this is all now a part of Twitter’s expanding Twitter Blue push. Which could end up being a stroke of genius, which eventually generates millions in subscriber revenue for the app. Or it could be a massive failure, that’ll force Elon and Co. back to the drawing board.
The latter, at this stage, is looking more likely, but it’s early days, and Twitter is obviously going to test out every avenue to make its subscriptions element work.