Twitter's announcement that it will introduce a paid-subscription option for its users was met with astonishment and a flurry of jokes on the platform, with users "burying" the service with a viral #RIPTwitter hashtag that has now made its way to the social media’s top trends.
The feature, known as Super Follows, was revealed to investors during Twitter Analyst Day 2021 on Wednesday. The option will allow users to charge a $4.99 monthly subscription fee from their followers for exclusive content and newsletters, as well as discounts and community access.
No suggestion was made that the feature would deprive users from reading people's tweets for free but the proposal was still perceived by many as the end of the social media world as we know it. Some users joked that Twitter was craving to imitate the success of OnlyFans' paid-content, which is popular among sex workers.
Twitter been looking at OnlyFans and Patreon's financial models like pic.twitter.com/O5cej9sMwz— WrestlingRoo (@spookyruthy) February 26, 2021
It’s not clear when the Super Follows feature will become available or what percentage Twitter will take for allowing its users to make money on the platform, but CEO Jack Dorsey told investors that his brainchild has been slow to innovate in recent years.
There is also another feature in the pipeline called Communities, the company announced. This will apparently help users to create and join groups on the site based on their interests – something closely resembling Facebook groups, analysts note.
With much criticism around the platform’s “censorship” policies and falling profits, Twitter has been eager to boost its standing and generate money through a source other than advertising. According to a company spokesperson, “exploring audience funding opportunities like Super Follows will allow creators and publishers to be directly supported by their audience” and will give them an incentive to continue making content.