After years of criticism for its perceived failure to evolve its platform, and take action on key elements fast enough, Twitter says that it’s now "picking up the pace” of innovation, and looking to implement more changes and options to help improve the overall Twitter experience.
We’ve already seen some of these in its updates to lists and the addition of topics to follow, and there are more on the way, with controls over who can reply to your tweets and it’s long-awaited ’conversational’ features. But these are just some of the elements that Twitter’s working on - according to new reports, Twitter is also looking into a new tipping option for tweets, improved identification of trolls, tweaks for lists, and more.
Here’s an overview of some of the additional Twitter updates we may see in the near future.
1. Tipping in Tweets
With Facebook moving further into on-platform payments, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s enthusiasm for cryptocurrency, it may come as little surprise that Twitter too is looking at its own payment option, with tipping via tweet.
As reported by The Information:
“Twitter is considering a feature that will allow users to tip - sending each other money from their tweets - according to two people familiar with the company’s decisions. [...] Twitter and Square already partner to let users make donations to politicians through tweets, according to company filings.”
There’s a lot to consider here - the capacity to exchange money via tweet could have significant implications for the service, and may provide a whole new revenue stream to popular tweet creators.
Or not. The key strength of Twitter is the capacity to be able to contribute to public discourse, to have your say on any given topic and add that into the wider Twitter stream. If you were able to charge people to see your tweets - which is not currently the proposal, but maybe an extension of the same - that would also, theoretically, reduce your exposure, which may negate its value anyway.
But still, no doubt those who share scoops and exclusive insights on Twitter will be doing the math in their heads, calculating what, exactly, their tweets are worth. The truth is, probably not much - but maybe, if they could call for contributions from their loyal fans, it could provide another incremental income stream, if the option were to go that route.
More likely the option would be a boon for those sharing adult content on the platform - but still, the capacity to raise funds via tweet would open up a range of possibilities. And worth noting, YouTube recently reported that more than 100,000 of its channels are now earning money via its live-stream tipping option, called ’Super Chat’, with some streams generating more than $400 per minute “as fans reach out to creators to say hello, send congratulations, or just to connect”.
The use case is obviously different, but it may provide some pointers as to where Twitter is looking on this front.
It’s also worth noting that various Twitter employees have said that, while this has been discussed, such a project is not actively in development at this stage.