Twitter announced the new “feature” during its Twitter Analyst Day 2021 (AP Photo / Matt Rourke, … [+]
The hashtag #RIPTwitter probably wasn’t the answer Twitter executives expected – or certainly hoped – on Friday morning. However, with nearly 40,000 tweets, it quickly became one of the top five topics of the microblogging service as users bluntly gave their opinion on the new Super Follows feature.
Memes pushed users’ feelings home after Twitter announced that people would be charging for access to additional or exclusive content. The answer itself was priceless!
A common hint was that users of the social media platform just wanted to be able to edit their posts.
Super Money Maker?
Twitter announced the new “feature” during its Twitter Analyst Day 2021, and the social media company said it would be added to “provide monetary incentive models for creators and publishers that are directly supported by their audience”.
While Twitter certainly drives the fact that it would generate income for creators, the fact remains that the service could leverage a source of income as well.
“Twitter needs to find more revenue streams while keeping the core product free,” said Recon Analytics technology analyst Roger Entner.
“Just like ‘free’ massively multiplayer online games that sell add-ons that sometimes make a difference but are often mostly cosmetic, Twitter is following the same successful path,” added Entner. “There is always a backlash, but Twitter should ignore this vocal minority that pays nothing for the service. Twitter is not a charity, it is a profitable business for investors.”
Approach the game
Based on the response Twitter received – especially the #RIPTwitter – it doesn’t seem like users seem exactly on board when they pay for what’s free.
“People are skeptical and it’s understandable that they’ve enjoyed free and unrestricted access for so long and even shaken the idea of paying for certain content,” said futurist and brand strategist Scott Steinberg.
“People follow and do business with others online, and Twitter has been a huge part of that for years,” Steinberg added. “There are established cults of personality as well – from the Kardashians to those on the political spectrum, and some may be willing to pay money to get in touch and have better access to these people. “
Value creation and patronage
However, based on some responses, few people seem so eager to pay money to those already considered part of the financial elite that Twitter’s strategy could backfire. The question then arises whether Super Follows can actually add value for the average user.
“It depends on what you actually get for your money,” said Steinberg. “Users want fair value for this ‘upgrade’. If you want to connect with a thought leader or engage with a pop culture icon, it may be worth paying for. But they can’t just call, or the followers turn themselves off quickly. “
In essence, this could be similar to Patreon, which allows content creators to run a subscription service by helping those creators and artists earn monthly income by providing rewards and perks to the subscriptions.
“This has the potential to be a huge business model for the developers,” Steinberg added. “Even a handful of well-funded fans can give developers the opportunity to work independently and make their dreams come true.”