Twitter prepares new features including subscriptions

By William Smith
Social media giant Twitter has announced a number of new products including a paid “Super Follow” function...

Social media giant Twitter has announced a number of new products including a paid “Super Follow” function.

The announcement came amid the Company’s virtual analyst day, which included remarks from the company’s CEO Jack Dorsey, who directly addressed the rationale for the new introductions.

“You’re here to answer another question: ‘Why should I believe Twitter’s role in public conversation, and it’s business as a result, is growing?’ That’s the question we’re focused on answering today. But 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.”

Monetising content

One of its efforts to remedy that perception is the Super Follow, as well as a product known as Revue allowing for the publishing of paid and free newsletters.

The move taps into an ongoing trend to help creators monetise their content. Video sharing website YouTube offers channel memberships, for instance, in what might be the closest analogue to Twitter’s new Super Follow offering, while other sites such as Patreon or OnlyFans are set up around attracting paying subscribers.

The audio boom

Not content with just challenging that trend, the company is also launching features seemingly in response to audio-focused competitor Clubhouse. The recently emerged platform offers limited capacity live group chats, which combine elements of live streaming and the podcasting phenomenon. The company’s profile was recently boosted by one of Twitter’s best known users, Elon Musk, who interviewed the CEO of fintech trading platform Robinhood.

In turn, Twitter is beta testing “Twitter Spaces” which will let users participate in audio chats. “We’re still early in beta, but we’re very excited about this new capability and how it can potentially allow experts from around the world to convene, to talk about sports, entertainment, politics or just hang out and enjoy each other’s company,” said Dantley Davis, Head of Design & Research.

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