Twitter Considering Subscription Fees as Way to Diversify Revenue

February 8, 2021 Updated: February 8, 2021

Twitter is considering adding subscription fees as the company looks to diversify its income streams, according to a company official.

“Increasing revenue durability is our top company objective. You will see us continue to research and experiment with ways to further diversify our revenue beyond ads in 2021 and beyond,” Bruce Falck, revenue product lead at Twitter, said in a statement emailed to The Epoch Times.

“These may include subscriptions and other approaches that will give people and businesses of all sizes on Twitter access to unique features and enhanced opportunities for content creation, discovery, and engagement,” he added.

“While we’re excited about this potential, it’s important to note we are still in very early exploration and we do not expect any meaningful revenue attributable to these opportunities in 2021. Given the massive opportunity to build upon our strengths, our main focus continues to be on growing our ads business.”

Twitter declined to provide more details.

Twitter asked a set of users last year what potential paid features they would most desire. The list included an ability to withdraw a tweet as much as 30 seconds after submitting it, custom colors, and badges.

Jack Dorsey, CEO of the California-based company, told investors last year that executives have in recent years focused on increasing the number of revenue streams.

“But most importantly, we want to make sure that any new line of revenue is complementary to our advertising business,” he said. “We do think there is a world where subscription is complementary. We think there is a world where commerce is complementary. You can imagine work around helping people manage paywalls as well that we believe is complementary. So that’s what we’re looking for.”

A small team was tasked with exploring options and people could expect “tests,” Dorsey added.

Twitter CFO Ned Segal, during the following earnings call, confirmed the existence of a job posting that described “building a subscription platform” and said some tests would soon happen.

“This isn’t something that I think about in terms of revenue for this year, but it is stuff that when you’re going to see us working on and experimenting with things, both for businesses and for consumers, where we can improve their experience on Twitter and where we think there is a subscription opportunity for us,” he said.

While Twitter’s services have been free since its inception, the company faces increased competition from upstarts such as Gab and Parler. Waves of users have defected in recent weeks over its crackdown on conservatives, including former President Donald Trump.

Twitter’s next earnings call is set for Feb. 9.

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