Twitter’s Super Follows: The hero we didn’t know we wanted?
April 8, 2021 - 3 minutes read
At Twitter’s Analyst Day in February 2021, they discussed new initiatives they were rolling out to help them achieve their goals. One of these was the emergence of “Super Follows”, a pay-for-posts feature which will go some distance to achieving their revenue targets.
Twitter are expecting this to launch later this year but as yet do not have a specific date in mind as the initiative is still in early development phases. However, they have said they expect it to be a new subscriber layer to Twitter, where accounts can gain super followers and provide exclusive content to those followers based on their own needs. During their presentation they showed a screenshot of how this might look:
Super Follows will effectively allow users to pay the people they follow for their best tweets and get access to exclusive content, including things like:
- Supporter badges
- Subscriber-only newsletters
- Exclusive content
- Deals and discounts
- Community access
This is going to be done on a subscriber model, allowing users to subscribe to accounts and creators to then be paid for the content they produce for their subscribers. It is likely that Twitter will take a cut of the payment in order for this new feature to contribute to their own revenue streams, but as yet have not spoken on what that would look like.
What does this mean for creators?
Plainly put, creators will be able to monetize their own content. So, as a top-line view, this would be hugely beneficial for content creators, ensuring they are being paid for what they produce, and is something that many creators have been asking for for a long time.
What this does allow for is an increase in the quality of content being created and posted – if people know that they can charge for the content they push out, they’re going to want it to be worth people paying for or their subscriber counts would go down. So, as an end user, we’re expecting to see a surge in higher quality content being posted as the feature rolls out later in the year.
However, one thing we are sceptical of is that it does suggest some creators will be able to make more content (and more money) than others, potentially due to follower size or “influence” on the platform. That could mean creators opt to publish content primarily for subscribers rather than the open source platform Twitter has always been, where everyone and anyone can see what is being posted.
This not only holds potential issues for advertisers but also every day users. For users who don’t want to have to pay to see the content from their favourite accounts, they could find themselves missing out on valuable information being shared. For advertisers, the emergence of pay-for-posts could make it harder to reach new audiences through paid partnerships.
However, it could also be beneficial for advertisers in that if they are able to partner with creators who have a solid subscriber base, the engagement seen as a result of those partnerships could bring huge rewards with the audience already at a higher propensity to engage with the content being posted by those accounts.
The development of Super Followers also speaks to one of the other features Twitter spoke about during the event – Communities. With a much greater focus over coming years being placed on developing community spaces and areas of the site that are more easily found by micro-communities, we’re expecting to see a big shift in the use of the platform as both of these features roll out.
Whatever happens with Super Follows as it continues to be developed and released later in the year, we’re looking forward to seeing what additional features are released alongside it to make it easier for accounts to create content and connect with their communities.