Twitter Considering Charging Users for Accounts’ Exclusive Content, Tweetdeck

The list of pros and cons about Twitter is long, but one of the greatest benefits of using Twitter is the price. It’s free, all of it. Or at least, it has been. Per Bloomberg, Twitter Inc. is now building a subscription product to ease its dependence on advertising.

Among the options Twitter is considering is a plan called “tipping,” the ability for accounts to charge followers for exclusive content. While details are scarce, the idea has an upside. Popular accounts could charge followers, presumably a revenue share with Twitter, for a separate timeline and exclusive videos. Users would also pay for interactive videos and discussions with celebrities, athletes, influencers, TV hosts, and maybe even high-profile users like, wait for it, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Not to single out any type of content, but OnlyFans is a success. Could tipping on Twitter provide some competition?

Twitter is also considering charging users for Tweetdeck, a dashboard app that’s popular among company accounts. While Tweetdeck is helpful, most users likely won’t pay for it. Tweetdeck is most useful for viewing multiple streams at once. Its viewing experience is better than Twitter’s, but the recent update to Twitter’s desktop homepage narrowed that gap. And though Tweetdeck allows accounts to schedule tweets throughout the day, so do third-party services like Hootsuite and Echobox. Tweetdeck is a great free feature, but it’s unlikely that many users will be willing to pay for it.

Twitter is even looking at charging users for an “undo send” option and profile customization. (Maybe we can turn our timelines green?)

For as much influence as Twitter has on the media, Hollywood, and in sports — it’s not close to the money-making machines that Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon are.

Most of Twitter’s revenue comes from targeted advertising, and its rate is growing at a slower pace than even Snap Inc. Twitter makes up just 0.8% of the digital ad market globally, and its user base in the U.S. is plateauing, meaning it can no longer rely on new users to bolster its reach. 

Twitter’s reach may have also peaked. So much of its attention came via former President Donald Trump’s account. Twitter kicked Trump off, and as a result, Twitter is no longer cited as often on cable news. Influential voices like Mark Levin, Dan Bongino, and Pete Hegseth have all opted to leave Twitter in the past month, as well. I’d expect many of their supporters have either already left or will soon.

When all this is added up, it’s no longer surprising that Twitter is pondering additional revenue streams. The move is innovative but also probably necessary. Twitter has made a lot of foolish decisions of late, but building a subscription product isn’t one of them.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

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  1. Lol…outside of looking at tweets cited here after the great purge I haven’t been on twitter since. I’m certainly not going back if they start charging to look at blue checkmark bad takes.

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