I’m still having trouble with the math, and how X is going to make this all work. But today, Elon and Co. have announced a significant update to their creator ads revenue share plan, with the requirements for entry to the program now being reduced to enable more creators to earn money from their posts in the app.
As you can see in this updated welcome screen (shared by X News Daily), the qualifications for X’s ad revenue share program are now:
- Be subscribed to X Premium or Verification for Organizations
- Have at least 5 million post impressions over the past three months (down from 15 million at program launch)
- Have 500 followers in the app
The total impressions element is the biggest barrier to entry, with very few users actually reaching the original 15 million requirement.
In the first iteration of the program, it was actually 5 million+ per month, but X recently updated this to 15 million cumulative impressions over the preceding three-month period. That covers for those who do drive a lot of engagement, but may have had a down month out of the three, but now, it’s been reduced by two-thirds anyway, which will make a heap more X creators eligible for payouts from the app.
Of course, lower total impressions also means fewer ad impressions as well, and thus lower revenue share payouts. As such, the newly qualified entrants are unlikely to see the tens of thousands of dollars that some have received in the initial payments.
But getting paid to post in the app at all is a bonus, and if it offsets the cost of your X Premium subscription, everything else is butter, as the kids say (I don’t know, I saw it in a movie).
Though good luck trying to work out the process behind the program, and how much you can reliably expect to receive as a result.
At present, X’s creator ad revenue program only factors in ad impressions shown to verified users within the reply threads of posts. Around 0.05% of X users have subscribed to X Premium (formerly X Blue, formerly Twitter Blue), so there’s only a finite amount of ad exposure up for grabs, while X is also still trying to win back more advertisers, after seeing a 50% reduction in overall ad spend since Elon took over.
So limited exposure potential, and a limited amount of ads. The expanded risk here is that a lot more users will now be posting a lot more comment-baiting posts to tap into this stream of ad revenue, which could eventually see the payment amounts reduce significantly, especially for the big winners in the initial payouts.
It could also see X get filled with more angry posts, in order to trigger more response. Anger and joy are the emotions most likely to prompt a user to respond online, so the program essentially incentivizes people to post divisive takes to prod them into action.
That’s probably not ideal for overall engagement, especially considering the noted shift, in recent times, away from divisive content in social feeds.
The other posting type that’ll get more comments?
So while the program is designed to drive engagement, there is a risk that it ends up loading X with more low-quality junk, while the fact that you have to appeal to X Premium subscribers specifically, who are, in large part, Elon Stans, also incentivizes creators to post about their key topics of interest, i.e. Tesla, politics, free speech, vaccines, etc.
But effectively, you have no way of knowing what sort of payout you’re going to get, because you can’t base it on impressions alone, as only verified users count, and without that, there’s virtually no way to break it down manually, in order to see how many ads are shown in your replies to verified users.
So you’re going to be trusting X to pay you the right amount, and that amount looks set to fluctuate a lot, now that a heap more users are eligible.
Maybe, in six months' time, you’ll be able to get a better idea of the kinds of payouts you can expect, and the X team has also vowed to share more analytics in future.
But at this stage, it’s just sign-up and hope for the best.
If it’s sustainable, this could be a big step for Elon and Co. in encouraging more creators to keep posting in the app, but we don’t know how sustainable it is because we don’t have the oversight.
Maybe, if X wins back more advertisers, that’ll prop up the program as it grows, but if it doesn’t, seems like a lot of people are going to end up very disappointed at some stage, which could spark a bigger backlash.
As I noted in a recent post, it’s either an amazing opportunity, and a step in the right direction for the app, or it’s a short-term stunt to get more creators posting, which will eventually fall flat as payouts reduce over time.
And now, it’s going to get even bigger, which is either way better or way worse for X.