Pay to see a tweet? Elon Musk’s crazy new idea

In a Twitter thread posted on April 13, 2023, social network Twitter boss Elon Musk announced on his personal account an upcoming option for content creators to charge followers for their tweets.

A paid subscription service to tweets from content creators… which is not yet very clear. // Source: Frandroid editing (Twitter, Freepik)

This is one more step towards Twitter’s goal of profitability. Thursday April 13, 2023, the whimsical boss of the social network Elon Musk announced in a thread on his personal account that an upcoming tweet monetization option should be available soon.

This feature would be a first for Twitter, while other platforms that already allow content creators to monetize their activity. On the other hand, the CEO is not clear on the commission rates levied on this future income.

A paid subscription system

According to the multi-billionaire, a new option available in a “ Monetization “Twitter settings should allow anyone”to offer your subscribers subscriptions to any content, whether long text or a video of several hours!»

In the next tweetElon Musk also promises that the Twitter team “will also help you promote your work. Our goal is to maximize the prosperity of creators“, and that they will be able to leave the platform with their content”at any time“.

Apply to offer your followers subscriptions of any material, from longform text to hours long video!

Just tap on “Monetization” in settings.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 13, 2023

With this announcement, the CEO seeks to catch up with other platforms such as Facebook, YouTube or Twitch, offering influencers and content creators to earn advertising or subscription revenue.

In the field of new technologies, this new service could, for example, allow reliable leakers such as Evleaks or Onleaks to monetize access to the information they share exclusively.

Twitter wouldn’t touch anything in Year 1

Musk therefore seeks to retain its most influential users while bringing money into the coffers of the company. Two birds with one stone.

However, to convince these content creators to use this service rather than another, the boss of the social network promises that “for the next 12 months, Twitter won’t keep any of that money“.

For the next 12 months, Twitter will keep none of the money.

You will receive whatever money we receive, so that’s 70% for subscriptions on iOS & Android (they charge 30%) and ~92% on web (could be better, depending on payment processor).

After first year, iOS & Android fees…

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 13, 2023

He claims that the only commission rates applied to monetization revenue will be the “30 %» levied by Apple on iOS and Google on Android, but that these will drop to 15% after the first year. Twitter would then take its share based on the total amount of revenue.

On the web version, however, it announces that around 92% of the revenue will go to the creator, according to the payment provider.

Lack of clarity on service details

A declaration already disputed by Google, specifies the British press agencyReuters: in an e-mail response, the multinational recalls that it has lowered its commission rate on Android from 30 to 15% since 2021 for 99% of users.

In addition, Musk omits to specify some important information about his service. While he announces that monetization is supposed to be available already, he does not specify whether this is the case for standard users or only for Twitter Blue subscribers.

Right here waiting. How long?

— Dr. Clemen Chiang ⚡️ Spiking (@ClemenChiang) April 14, 2023

Similarly, several of these users have shared under his tweets screenshots of an error page asking to “come back to check later to be able to join the Subscriptions program“.

It will therefore be necessary to wait a little longer before knowing if this new grandiloquent announcement by Elon Musk is not yet another publicity stunt to create expectation before the actual launch of the service.

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