The product changes under the new Twitter 2.0 era continue to arrive, with news today that Twitter is working on a new feature that will allow users to put individual posts behind paywalls.
Elon Musk says this feature will start rolling out next month. To do this, you’ll need to be a Twitter Blue subscriber and while many criticised Twitter, offering monetisation options means those who subscribe could make their money back, and some.
Twitter recently enabled Twitter Subscriptions across the globe, allowing your superfans to subscribe for a monthly fee. The monthly payment unlocks different things from different creators but will include posts exclusively for those who pay/donate to a content creator.
Subscribing is really an ongoing commitment that many casual Twitter users may not be willing to do, so having an option to create content and paywall it, does provide a new revenue opportunity.
It will be interesting to see the implementation of this feature, as the post would need to allow enough of a preview for a decision to be made, perhaps the first paragraph or two before the user is presented with the paywall to read what’s remaining.
This enables users who would not sign up for a monthly subscription to pay a higher per-article price for when they want to read an occasional article.
Musk says this should be a major win-win for both media orgs & the public and while I agree it’s great for those collecting revenue from paywalled posts, I’m not entirely sure how the public win, other than avoiding a higher price monthly cost.
Personally, I’ve been frustrated when links to you off to a website that has a paywall, but can imagine there is a way to find a good balance between 100% free content and the occasional paid post which would be completely optional.
Initially, I expect this to be exclusively for text content but hope Twitter is able to expand this to images and video. Right now, you can post a maximum of 4 images per Tweet, but in the future state, I hope you’re able to post full image galleries and have the ability to attach payment on some of those images.
When it comes to videos, it’d be great to have an option to create a 15-second preview, show a payment option and if the user wants to see the remaining video, they could pay a notional fee.
Content behind a paywall will always receive less engagement than that which is free, so it’s important to use this sparingly.