adoption The Twitter platform is jointly produced as a way to reduce its dependence on advertising, a plan that the social network has pondered for years and has been in high priority given the pandemic and pressure from active investors to accelerate growth.
The majority of Twitter’s revenue comes from targeted ads, which provide promoted posts that target specific groups of users.
This business has grown in recent years at a slower pace than competitors such as Facebook and Snapchat, and Twitter’s segment of the global digital advertising market remains at 0.8 percent.
Twitter benefits from a separate revenue stream that does not depend on branding ads, and the company’s user base in the United States, the most valuable market, is also starting to stabilize, which means it cannot be relied upon just adding new users.
To explore potential options outside of ad sales, a number of Twitter teams are looking into subscription offers, including one that uses the codename Rogue One.
At least one thought being considered is about tip, or users’ ability to pay people they follow for exclusive content.
Other possible ways to generate recurring revenue include charging for using services, like Tweetdeck, or advanced user features, like undo posting, or account customization options.
Subscriptions have long provided an alternative to advertising, but social networks have traditionally remained free as a way to encourage user growth and engagement, which is then supported by paid marketing posts.
Some potential for this type of recurring revenue has emerged based on user surveys, executive feedback, or past product moves.
Twitter has tested the tip idea in the past with its live video service Periscope, and this idea has become a popular business model for companies hoping to help creators make money from their fans or followers.
The company is also considering charging some premium users for a host of services, which may include Tweetdeck.
Typically used by more advanced Twitter users, Tweetdeck allows them to follow multiple streams of tweets simultaneously, and it is free for now and contains no ads, making it attractive to some users as an alternative to the main feed.
And a recent poll from July showed that Twitter is studying whether consumers might pay for special features, such as: the option to back out of sending or the colors assigned to their accounts, and it remains unclear which products may reach Twitter consumers.
According to former employees, the Twitter platform has been dealing with subscription ideas for years, and the most serious effort came in 2017, when an internal team looked at ways in which Tweetdeck could be charged.
Some users were polled about the types of Tweetdeck features they might pay for, and the staff internally discussed a wide range of options, such as: a tool to help people manage multiple accounts, or charging people to keep Tweetdeck free of ads.
Ultimately the search was abandoned and no subscription features were ever tested.
Twitter struggled with the idea of charging for its service while competitors, such as Facebook, refused to do the same.
There was also some fear that the subscription service might violate the free, open service idea envisioned by CEO (Jack Dorsey).
As Twitter approaches actual product testing, here’s a summary of some of the potential features or services the company could charge for:
- Ad-free feed.
- Exclusive content.
- Higher quality videos.
- The blue badge.
- Consumer features.