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Would you pay to follow your favourite Tweeters?

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Written by: Emma Lunn
26/02/2021
Twitter is planning to introduce paid-for content.

An account subscription system called Super Follows will let Twitter users charge followers for monthly access to exclusive content.

For example, bands will be able to use the Super Follow system to charge followers a monthly fee for access to private tweets containing new songs or video trailers.

Other exclusive content could be bonus tweets, access to a community group, subscription to a newsletter, or a badge indicating your support.

The new feature was revealed at an investors’ event this week. In a mock-up screenshot, Twitter showed an example where a user charges $4.99 per month to receive a series of perks.

Similar direct payment tools have become increasingly popular on other social media websites such as Patreon, OnlyFans, and YouTube.

Super Follows will be a new way for Twitter to monetise its platform. Most of its revenue is currently generated by advertising. It is assumed that Twitter will take a cut of the monthly fees – although how much has not yet been announced.

Andy Barr, CEO of PR agency 10 Yetis Digital, said: “I hate to be ‘that guy’, but I fear Twitter’s Super Follow has come a little too late to the market. There is a plethora of platforms out there that offer this kind of functionality, although – you could argue – very few of them have the mainstream appeal and audience base that Twitter does.

“We can already see via Google Trends that demand for the likes of Clubhouse is falling, so why Twitter has now decided to launch Super Follow and Twitter Spaces (a kind of Clubhouse clone) is difficult to understand. The age-old adage that the ‘adult’ industry dictates and leads what will work in the tech sector (VHS v Betamax, the improvements in Live Streaming content etc., all pioneered by the adult industry) is maybe why Twitter has taken the plunge with Super Follow.”

George James, founder and CEO of digital agency Be-Hookd, said: “Super Followers could be a hybrid of ClubHouse, Patreon, OnlyFans and Substack, essentially enabling the restriction of Tweets, voice based Spaces and newsletters.

“There is real power in having those tools centralised in one app. Especially for those in industries that are currently looking for new ways to monetise due to the pandemic, such as musicians who may be struggling to make ends meet, this will prove a great tool to introduce especially because Twitter is the home to the most active fanbases I think fans will be encouraged to show their support. In addition, Super Follows could also prove the value of content shared on the platform, which is often overlooked.”

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