Twitter is hatching plans for a new pay-to-follow model where users could get exclusive content from some of the platform’s most influential accounts for a fee.
The social media company said Thursday it is working on a new feature called “Super Followers,” which will allow users to subscribe to their favorite Twitter accounts for content going beyond the usual tweets. This potentially could be anything from newsletters to videos from high-profile users.
Think of pop star Justin Bieber, who has 114 million followers on Twitter (second only to former president Barack Obama‘s nearly 130 million followers), performing a private concert or releasing new music for a fee.
A subscription fee could be as much as $4.99 per month, according to screenshots provided by Twitter. However, the company may allow users to customize their own subscription costs. Twitter’s head of consumer product Kayvon Beykpour said the Super Followers feature will be available later this year.
Dantley Davis, Twitter’s chief design officer said 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.”
The feature echoes creator payment platforms like Patreon similar features made by Facebook and YouTube. Twitter’s head of consumer product Kayvon Beykpour later said the Super Followers feature will be available later this year.
The announcement came during Twitter’s first virtual Analyst Day event, where analysts and investors press Twitter executives about their forecast for the upcoming year. The company also said Thursday that it projects to double its annual revenue from 3.7 billion in 2020 to $7.5 billion in 2023 as well as boosting daily user growth from its current 192 million to 315 million in the next two years.
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Additionally, Twitter also announced another soon-to-be released feature called Communities where users can create and join groups around specific topics and interests that could be a competitor with Facebook’s popular Groups feature.
“We’re focused on public conversation as a use case, and that use case is going to have multiple formats associated with it,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said.
While the new features are intended to create revenue and growth, the company continues to face scrutiny with the persistent harassment and hateful rhetoric on the platform. The company said Thursday that it is using more “machine learning-based” automated technology to enforce its rules.
Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s chief legal officer, told the analysts and investors that as human communication continues to evolve in many forms, “so too will technology.”
“This technology isn’t perfect and never will be,” Gadde said. “Mistakes are inevitable.”