Twitter is considering a ‘subscription model’ - but will you have to pay to use it?

Friday, 24th July 2020, 3:24 pm
Updated Friday, 24th July 2020, 3:26 pm
Would you pay to use Twitter? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms, with millions of users all around the world posting on the free site.

However, following a decline in revenue, the company has stated that it is looking at ways to expand its revenue streams - including possibly rolling out a so-called “subscription model” for users.

‘Subscription is complementary’

On 23 July, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the company is actively exploring ways in which Twitter could make additional money. Speaking on an investor call, Dorsey commented that investors “will likely see some tests this year” of various approaches.

Dorsey said that he has “a really high bar for when we would ask consumers to pay for aspects of Twitter”, but did confirm that the company is exploring options to diversify its source of revenue. It was explained that Twitter is in the “very, very early phases of exploring.”

Doresy said, “We want to make sure any new line of revenue is complementary to our advertising business.

“We do think there is a world where subscription is complementary, where commerce is complementary, where helping people manage paywalls… we think is complementary.”

Twitter is currently free to use, so while you’re not likely to see the subscription model roll out any time soon, it is something that the company is considering.

Why would Twitter need to charge users?

The move comes as the social media platform has suffered from a sharp decline in its core advertising business.

Many advertisers on Twitter pulled back due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with Twitter reporting second quarter advertising revenues of $562 million, which is a 23 per cent decrease compared to the same quarter a year ago.

Advertisers have also been participating in an advertising boycott of social media, which is linked to racial justice protests that have been taking place across the globe. However, Twitter executives have declined to comment on how much of an impact the boycott has had on the business.

Is Twitter safe to use?

Twitter has also suffered from a large scale security breach which saw high profile accounts belonging to the likes of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama and Bill Gates get hacked, tweeting out a bitcoin scam.

It was confirmed by Twitter that “for up to 36 of the 130 targeted accounts, the attackers accessed the DM inbox.”

Twitter wrote about the incident on its blog, explaining what happened and what its actions will be moving forward.

The blog post explained that the hackers “successfully manipulated a small number of [Twitter] employees and used their credentials to access Twitter’s internal systems, including how to get through our two-factor protections.”