Twitter has forever been a free social media network that has found a way to survive by monetizing your feeds with branded advertising. I’m not sure that Twitter is doing bad with that method of making money, but as is always the case with billionaire asshole investors who are behind products like this, there is a need for more billions to be added to their piles of cash. To help make that happen, Twitter is reportedly seriously considering several ways to make you pay for stuff.
In a lengthy report from Bloomberg about possibilities in the Twitter subscription game, we’re told that we could see everything from paying for exclusive content from your favorite Twitter personalities to leaving tips and getting a prettier profile. The big one, at least for those of us who use Twitter as an actual tool, could come via subscription for access to Tweetdeck.
Now, Twitter hasn’t confirmed any of this, but could talk more openly about it when they discuss quarterly earnings this week. The company has apparently talked about subscription services as a way to generate more revenue for a couple of quarters in a row, so the fact that this article arrives on the eve of their next call is probably telling.
The ideas being poked around could include a way for users to pay for exclusive content or Tweets, perhaps even an exclusive feed from select users or accounts. This could involve “tipping” or maybe some form of monetization like you might see from a Patreon user. It could also mean something as simple as undoing a Tweet that was just sent, letting users pay to have custom colors or hashtags or stickers or profile setups, etc.
As for the blasphemous talk of asking us to pay for Tweetdeck, the thought here is that Tweetdeck is a power-user tool that its userbase would likely pay for. It’s already an ad-free product, so that could be a part of the equation. Or maybe Twitter could try and turn it into Hootsuite, where you pay for multi-account use and more analytics.
No matter what today’s report suggests, I can say that I’d be shocked if Twitter doesn’t bring forward paid features for its users. It only makes sense, but thankfully, Twitter is slow as hell at introducing anything new. Even if we do have to pay for Tweetdeck or a fun new sticker, it could be a while.