Twitter has announced the introduction of a “Super Follow” feature that allows users to charge others to access content.
Unveiled during an investor presentation as part of Twitter’s Analyst Day, Super Follow will mean that Twitter users can pay a monthly subscription fee to access exclusive content from those they follow, such as newsletters, or access to discounts.
“Why don’t we start with why folks don’t believe in us,” said Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. “It comes down to three critiques: we’re slow, we’re not innovative, and we’re not trusted.”
Offering a subscription-based model will be a new source of revenue for Twitter. During the event, Twitter’s CEO set out the company’s goal of more than doubling total annual revenue to $7.5bn or more in 2023.
The Super Follow feature is due to be launched later this year, with Twitter saying it had “more to share” in the coming months.
As well as Super Follow, Twitter also announced it is launching new features to promote “health participation” on the site, and according to the BBC, it is also testing a live audio discussion service.
Yuval Ben-Itzhak, president at Socialbakers said:
“Twitter’s roll-out of its ‘Super Follow’ feature shows it is eagerly looking for ways to go beyond its current advertising model. The subscription model has been available on YouTube and Patreon for some time now, but it is new for Twitter. The question is whether Twitter, famed for news-driven 280-character content, can make the same model work by attracting content creators to produce more differentiated content which sits exclusively for their audience behind the paywall.
“Twitter has long been established as the platform for breaking news and trending topics, and increasingly for light relief around major news stories. But expanding beyond this remit may cause them more harm than good: it is already facing unwelcome feedback as #RIPTwitter trends. As with all new innovations and features on social media apps, we may be in store for slow acceptance after an initial backlash. While Twitter’s real test will be creating opportunities for advertisers to share more relevant and engaging content with their audiences, it must ensure that it not only maintains its current user base, but that it wins new users in the process.”