While you probably see several sponsored content on your Twitter feed, it’s not as overwhelming as other social networks like Facebook. The downside, at least for the platform itself, is that the targeted advertising model is not giving them the expected revenue. Reports are now saying that they are looking at other sources of revenue streams which may include the subscription model. They are studying how they will be able to get people to pay and subscribe for additional features and content.
According to Bloomberg, there are now several Twitter teams that are looking into what subscription offerings will click with users and give them the additional revenue that they’re looking for. One idea that is being floated around is to give users the option to “tip” the people or accounts that they follow to be able to get exclusive content from these Twitter content creators. Another thing they’re looking at is to charge people to be able to use things like Tweetdeck or other additional features.
Most social networks like Twitter have not come up with paid offerings since the goal is to create user growth and engagement for free but subsidized with marketing posts or advertising. But last year, it seems that Twitter has been open to the idea of subscriptions as their Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal believes that recurring revenue that you can get from subscriptions is more stable than advertising spending.
This has already been mentioned in the past two quarterly calls with investors but they seem to have not acted on it so far, at least publicly. Whether it’s tips or subscriptions for additional services, Twitter seems to be acting pretty carefully on this. Another thing they’re reportedly considering is to offer power users with more tools like advanced access to Tweetdeck, which is currently free and ad-free as well.
Twitter has also previously conducted a survey, asking users which special features they would be willing to pay for, like an “undo send” option or profile customization options. It’s unclear for now which direction they will go with but it would also be interesting to see if the market will bite.