Twitter To Introduce Subscription Option
Jack Dorsey, chief executive officer of Twitter Inc. and Square Inc., smiles during an Empowering Entrepreneurs events at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. Dorsey said he hopes the companies he co-founded won't be tethered to their headquarters in San Francisco. Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg
Cole Burston/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Twitter announced on Thursday that it plans to introduce a new paid option to users, allowing them to utilize a “Super Follow” function in order to have the opportunity to receive content that is only available to them.

During a presentation to investors, the company explained that the new characteristic will “let users charge for extra, exclusive material not shown to their regular followers,” according to reporting by The Guardian. Content included in this concept can reportedly be material like videos, deals, discounts and newsletters. People who take advantage of this element would be required to pay a subscription cost per month.

The Super Follow idea might allow users to feel more connected to specific brands, as well. According to CNBC, Twitter also added that it is looking into the concept of letting its users “tip their favorite accounts.” “Exploring audience funding opportunities like Super Follows will allow creators and publishers to be directly supported by their audience and will incentivize them to continue creating content that their audience loves,” the company said in a statement.

Twitter’s head of design and research, Dantley Davis, said that they “think that an audience-funded model where subscribers can directly fund the content that they value most is a durable incentive model that aligns the interests of creators and consumers.”

In a Question and Answer session later in the day, Twitter Product Lead Kayvon Beykpour reportedly said that the company is planning to introduce Super Follows to the market at some point in 2021, and stated that users will be able to customize the price point.

As reported by CNBC, Twitter also restated that “it aims for a long-term target of mid-teens GAAP operating margin or 40% to 45% adjusted EBITDA margin.”

At the beginning of the presentation, chief executive Jack Dorsey said, “Why don’t we start with why folks don’t believe in us… It comes down to three critiques: we’re slow, we’re not innovative, and we’re not trusted.”

According to The Guardian, the users of Twitter and the social media giant’s investors have been asking Twitter to start a model that is based on user subscription. Other internet content creators use systems such as Patron, Substack and OnlyFans to turn a profit.

Twitter did not discuss how much money celebrities and other creators would make off of the paying subscribers that they enlist. This model would reportedly allow Twitter to make money using a wider-reaching source of profit, particularly when internet advertising is heavily run by Facebook and Google.

Twitter is setting goals to increase its capacity and expand its market, as well. In an SEC filing, Twitter reported that its goal is to have at least 315 million monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) by the fourth quarter of 2023, which, according to the filing “represents a ~20% compound annual growth rate from the base of 152 million mDAU reported in Q4 2019.”

It also plans to “at least double total annual revenue from $3.7 billion in 2020 to $7.5 billion or more in 2023.” Additionally, the company wants to have twice as much “development velocity by the end of 2023, which means doubling the number of features shipped per employee that directly drive either mDAU or revenue.”

According to CNBC, the company’s stock went up 3.7% on Thursday.

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