A Super Slow Start for Super Follows

Ariel Ariel
1 minute read 9/10/21

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps #78 - Where's All that Money Coming From?. Check out the full article for more insights.


A Super Slow Start for Super Follows

Twitter rolled out its Super Follows feature to some creators in the U.S. last week. In case you haven't heard, creators on Twitter who are accepted into the program will be able to tweet content that will only be visible to paying followers.

The "creators need to make money" trend isn't a new one, and I've talked about it a few times in the past when looking at Twitch which was the first big name to let followers pay creators, and more recently TikTok, whose revenue is growing at a super-fast pace.

At this point, it's expected that Twitter will turn on some monetization, and I've been waiting to see how it takes off.

The short answer is: not that fast.

Super follows enable creators to charge one of three tiers ($2.99, $4.99, or $9.99) for content that won't go public. In its first week of being available to the public, users have spent about $10,000 to super follow the handful of creators that are in the program.

In case you're curious, Twitter keeps 3% of that after paying Apple's fees, which net out to roughly $200.

That's it??? If that's your initial thought, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is that not everyone can be in the program. You need to hit a threshold for followers just to qualify, and even if you do, the program is by invitation only. The second is, this is just too new. Paying for something we've been conditioned to receive for free isn't an easy switch to make. Combined, these two will spell a long road to seeing "super follow millionaires".

But... I think it will happen. The way social media has been moving, what used to be "people sharing stuff" is now "everyone's following the few that share stuff". I'm not talking about friends who overshare (like many of us who started tweeting way before Twitter became a media company) but rather those that simply follow influencers.

Changing perception isn't easy, but if Twitter doesn't do it now, those creators who keep the latter group engaged will eventually go elsewhere. Let's see where this gets in six months.

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