Twitter Blue launched earlier this month in Australia and Canada. It costs $3.49 CAD and $4.49 AUD per month. Features released in “Blue” include an “undo” feature where you can retract your tweets before they go live, a bookmark folders so you can group saved tweets together, a reading mode that turns threads into one page that is easier to read and digest, the ability to add new color theme options, and dedicated customer support (which means you’ll get faster expedited service for account issues).
Earlier this year Twitter experimented with a tipping service similar to Patreon that lets users send one time “tips” or payments to their favorite accounts. Also similar to Patreon and possibly more like OnlyFans is their Super Follows feature (yet to be released) which lets users charge subscriptions for bonus content, community, or newsletters.
What is the end game for Twitter here? How well will these services do in the short term and will it really move the needle against advertising in the longer term? The Super Follows feature is obvious given the success of Patreon and OnlyFans and provides Twitter’s most valuable asset, its content creators, with a source of revenue. The tipping feature is also obvious but without a subscription or an automatic payment, it’s much harder for creators to continually “push the boulder up the mountain.”
Twitter also recently built a Clubhouse clone called Spaces. However, it’s a way to get Android users, and not anymore, to use Twitter because they don’t have access to Clubhouse. More importantly, it doesn’t not help creators make money.
The Blue features just do not seem to be enough to justify the charge. While it’s “only” a few dollars, the equivalent of about $3 US, it still does little to justify its value. To creators, there is not a single feature that might bring about more subscribers or followers to their platform.
Recently eMarketer released this infographic on various ways that creators can make money. None of these show up in Twitter’s toolkit (except for perhaps the ambiguous category of “other”). Ads are not split with creators so even though Twitter’s business model revolves around advertising creators do not get a piece of it. The bulk of influencer’s revenue, brand collaborations, is an easy one for Twitter to act as conduit to, however, they still have not done so and neither has Facebook, which owns Instagram the brand collaborations haven.
Back to the original question of what the end game is for Twitter: if expenses do not help generate revenue, what is the point? Cash is obvious revenue and followers also are an intermediate step toward revenue. Yet the new Twitter Blue offering does neither. The Twitter Blue product is geared towards the power user and feels more like the features you would find when you click a button like “advanced” and less like the features you would actually put real money toward.
Furthermore, it seems like many users are using Twitter for lead generation or linking. If Twitter figured out a way to keep users on their platform, for long reads, threads, for example, like Instagram or YouTube, that would be a way to help creators monetize. That being said, Facebook is similar except that it’s a more curated group of people posting.
Is Twitter Blue something that you might be interested in subscribing to? Do you see Twitter Blue as a way for you to make additional revenue, gain followers, or simplify your business? Or do you see it as an overpriced way to do things you wish you could do but would never pay to do? If so, drop us a line, and let us know how you think you will use their new features in your business!