Twitter announced on Thursday that it plans to let its users charge their followers for “exclusive content” – a feature that has been dubbed “Super Follow”.
Until now, Twitter had relied mainly on likes and retweets. The new feature would add an element reminiscing of Patreon and other platforms. The final details are not yet set in place, but the changes might come with a $4.99-per-month subscription fee. This would include subscriber-only newsletters, a supporter badge, community access and other advantages.
It is not yet clear when the Super Follow feature will launch, nor if everyone will have access to it. Mashable has asked Twitter about this, but the response didn’t include detailed specifics. “Exploring audience funding opportunities like Super Follows will allow creators and publishers to be directly supported by their audience and will incentivize them to continue creating content that their audience loves,” a spokesperson explained. “Super Follows is not available yet, but we’ll have more to share in the coming months.”
Twitter had offered more details about the purpose of this feature: “Our purpose is to serve the public conversation. As a part of that work, we are examining and rethinking the incentives of our service — the behaviors that our product features encourage and discourage as people participate in conversation on Twitter.”
The Super Follow feature, while still a work in progress, might have been in the works for quite some time. As Mashable notes, Twitter posted a job listing in July of 2020, mentioning “We are building a subscription platform, one that can be reused by other teams in the future”. The listing went on to say: “This is a first for Twitter! [The new team] Gryphon is a team of web engineers who are closely collaborating with the Payments team and the Twitter.com team”. The platform declined to elaborate on its plans back then.
Such a feature might taint the “This site is free” motto of Twitter, but it will allow the platform to hop on the bandwagon of paid exclusive content.