Imagine my surprise yesterday morning when I was out and about away from my keyboard and I happened to look at my phone. Twitter had been left on and, in particulary, I had the “What’s Happening” screen open. I do find it interesting to see what is going on in the world and what people are talking about.
Sometimes, it turns up interesting things; sometimes, it doesn’t.
In this case “#RIP Twitter” was trending!
According to this article on The Verge a subscription option will be made available on Twitter in the future. So, you could charge people for your content or likely, your premium content.
The payment feature, called Super Follows, will allow Twitter users to charge followers and give them access to extra content. That could be bonus tweets, access to a community group, subscription to a newsletter, or a badge indicating your support. In a mockup screenshot, Twitter showed an example where a user charges $4.99 per month to receive a series of perks. Twitter sees it as a way to let creators and publishers get paid directly by their fans.
It’s not a new concept. I’m thinking particularly of online newspapers that only offer subsets of their content for free. This comes in the form of only allowing you to read # articles a month or you only get the headline and pay for the article or there’s just this super secret area that only paid people get access to.
I’ve been around Twitter for a long time. I always thought of it as “citizen journalism” where groups of us would share our learning and thoughts. Once it took off though, having a presence became really important for companies and media services. If you’re not on Twitter, you lose out on a quick and effective way to reach a larger audience.
But are you willing to pay for it?
I can see it as a business plan. But is it a plan that you want to buy into? The general concensus of those posting to that hashtag is that they wouldn’t.
As of yet, we don’t necessarily know all of the details.
My immediate thought is that we would lose an element of Twitter that makes it Twitter. People sharing ideas and thoughts with others. If I’m a business, am I going to stop participating in favour of a paid service where I could make more money for myself and Twitter as broker?
We’re already seeing promoted Twitter messages. Would we see even more as people / businesses try to get you to buy in to their services? Of course, we could unfollow them but promoted messages are there no matter what.
Would it lead to a noisier conversation place? Or would it lead to a quieter one?
I’d be interesting in your immediate thoughts. Would you hang around if the new model kicks in? If you wouldn’t, where would you go? Is this the end of online collaboration?
Please take a moment and share your thoughts.