Twitter’s ‘Super Follow’ creator subscription takes shots at Substack and Patreon

Tech 25-2-2021 TechCrunch 25

It’s been an all-around more ambitious year for Twitter. Following activist shareholder action last year that aimed to oust CEO Jack Dorsey, the company has been making long overdue product moves, buying up companies and aiming to push the envelope on how it can tap its network and drive new revenue streams. Things seem to be paying off for the company, as their share price sits at an all-time-high double that of its 2020 high.

Today, the company shared early details on its first ever paid product, a feature called “Super Follow” which aims to combine the community trends of Discord, the newsletter insights of Substack, the audio chat rooms of Clubhouse and the creator support of Patreon into a creator subscription. The company announced the service during its Analyst Day event Thursday morning.

Plenty of details are still up in-the-air for the feature which notably does not have a launch timeline.

Screenshots shared by Twitter showcase a feature that allows Twitter users to subscribe to their favorite creators for a monthly price (one screenshot details a $4.99 per month cost) and earn certain subscriber-only perks, including things like “exclusive content,” “subscriber-only newsletters,” “community access,” “deals & discounts,” and a “supporter badge” for subscribers. Creators in the program will also be able to paywall certain media they share, including tweets, fleets and chats they organize in Twitter’s Clubhouse competitor Spaces.

The company’s other big announcement of the event was “Communities,” a product that seems designed to compete with Facebook Groups but also will likely provide “Super Follow” networks a place to interact with creators in close cahoots.

Twitter announces Communities, like Facebook Groups but on Twitter

(they’ve started working on it in the web app since at least few weeks ago) https://t.co/5YBmEfgsUn pic.twitter.com/JlkrZNjLBo

— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) February 25, 2021

Introducing paywalls into the Twitter feed could dramatically shift the mechanics of the service. Twitter has been pretty conservative over the years in building features that are intended for singular classes of users. Creator-focused features built for a network which is already home to so many creators could be a major threat to services like Patreon which have largely popped up due to the lackluster monetization tools available from the big social platforms.

New revenue streams will undoubtedly be key to Twitter’s ambitious plan to double its revenues by 2023.

Will this time be any different for Twitter?

 


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