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  • MaryGrace Lerin

Twitter Expands Super Follows to All iOS Users

Twitter has made its new 'Super Follow' option available to all iOS users, which will increase the revenue potential for creators by allowing them to receive direct payments from their largest fans.

Super Follows allows Twitter users with more than 10k followers to establish a monthly subscription price (up to $9.99) to monetize additional, unique content for their most engaged followers in the app. It was first opened for public applications in June and then debuted in limited beta in September.

Once activated, creators will have a new 'Super Followers' audience selection option for their tweets, limiting the reach of their material to only their paying subscribers.

This gives you yet another way to monetize your tweet content, and it's all part of Twitter's larger effort to encourage producers to tweet more frequently, increasing engagement and interaction in the app.

Super Follows is one of several new creator monetization schemes currently in development, with Twitter also testing:

  • On profile tipping – Now available to all users over the age of 18 (on iOS only)

  • Ticketed Spaces - Currently available to US-based users with more than 1,000 followers that have hosted at least 3 Spaces in the last 30 days

  • Spaces funding — Last week, Twitter announced its Spark Spaces funding project, which will reward selected participants with $2500 per month to help them build audio social content.

  • Revue newsletter links – Twitter now allows Revue newsletter providers to promote their subscription-based offerings directly on their profile and in tweets, which isn't exactly direct monetization.

The initiatives are part of Twitter's larger strategy to raise usage and revenue, with the business aiming to double both by 2023, in response to increased pressure on the company's senior team to improve the app's performance.

Elliott Management Corp., an investment management firm, purchased a significant stake in Twitter in March of last year, with the goal of replacing Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, whom they believe is failing to capitalize on the app's potential due to his attention being spread too thin between Twitter and Square, where he is also CEO.

Dorsey and his team were able to secure a stay of execution based on the fact that they established these lofty growth goals, which is why Twitter's development trajectory has flipped dramatically since then, and we're seeing a slew of new products and initiatives rolled out in the app.

They haven't taken off yet, though. One of Twitter's early efforts, Fleets, was canceled after less than a year, and data shows that its monetization choices, which include its own Twitter Blue internal subscription offering, have failed to achieve significant user adoption.

After only two weeks of availability, app analytics provider Sensor Tower claimed that Twitter's Super Follow option has only made roughly $6,000 in the United States and around $600 in Canada. At the lowest pricing range for Super Follows ($2.99), that means barely 2,000 users – or 0.005% of Twitter's US user base – have subscribed to anyone in the app. And that's a conservative estimate.

While two weeks' worth of data isn't enough to go on, and Twitter is still figuring out how to best operate the program, the early numbers aren't particularly encouraging, and Ticketed Spaces and tipping have also experienced relatively low response in their early stages.

Twitter is continually refining its methods for each of these elements. Twitter just announced that trending Spaces will now be highlighted under the Explore tab, which will greatly increase exposure and maybe lead to more broadcasters paying more attention to the option. This might make Ticketed Spaces a lot more popular, and giving people more access to Super Follows can only help Twitter improve its approval rate.

It's difficult to say if any of these features will become a thing – but habitual behavior, such as asking Twitter users to pay for stuff they've previously been able to access for free, is likely working against them.

Is there anyone whose exclusive tweets you'd pay to read? Aside from celebrities, there aren't many Twitter users who could charge a price for their private ideas, and they'd also be restricting their own publicity potential by sharing with smaller groups rather than broadcasting to the entire app.

In a broader sense, Twitter still needs to communicate that transition for users and get them used to spending, which its move into eCommerce, which is still in its early stages, will likely assist with.

But it's too early to tell right now. Perhaps if Twitter can encourage more exclusive content and community building, as well as modify how consumers react to it, these new bets will pay off, and become a more profitable feature for both artists and Twitter. However, it appears to be a long way off.

And 2023 may come too soon for any benefits to be fully realized.

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