Twitter’s new owner is taking steps to build in more creator revenue streams — or at least he’s tweeting about it.
Elon Musk announced Friday that the company will soon start sharing ad revenue with creators on the platform for the first time. The catch? Eligible users must be signed up for Twitter Blue, which starts at $8 per month.
The other side of the coin is that Twitter plans to show ads in replies, a change that could clog the platform with sponsored content and invite even more reply spam.
Twitter slowly warmed up to the creator economy, but the largely text-based social app eventually came on board. The company has introduced a handful of features over the past few years to help content creators make money, including Super Follows, Ticketed Spaces, and a dedicated monetization dashboard.
Twitter’s creator features focus on connecting creators and their followers directly with monthly paid subscriptions and ticket sales, but Musk is apparently interested in adding a share of ad revenue to the mix.
YouTube has long been sharing revenue with its creator community and is widely regarded as the best place to reliably monetize videos. The company pays 55% of the channel’s advertising revenue and recently introduced revenue sharing for its short TikTok competitor, YouTube Shorts.
Other companies, especially meta, have been slow to adopt this monetization model. TikTok only announced its own ad revenue sharing program with TikTok Pulse in the middle of last year, though the offering only expanded to accounts with at least 100,000 followers — a lofty mark. The ad revenue sharing model is even less common on platforms that emphasize text rather than video.
Recent tweets suggest that Musk wants to position Twitter as a haven for creators that can compete with YouTube, but the platform has much less foothold in video and it’s far from clear that the company can build resource-intensive video features while the most basic functions are already deteriorating.
“Let’s see what happens when Twitter offers good video with higher compensation for creators,” Musk wrote in a reply to MrBeast, YouTube’s most-followed user.
This week alone, many Twitter users have set their accounts to private after anecdotal reports suggested that some people saw less engagement following changes to the recommendation algorithm. Other bugs, such as retweets incorrectly showing as deleted, crop up regularly and usually stick around.
It’s also not clear whether Twitter actually has the resources to share its ad revenue with creators. That change would provide an entirely new monetization option, presumably one that would require quite a bit of backend building to track, calculate, and pay out a user’s share of ad revenue from their answer threads. To date, Twitter’s monetization options for creators have been limited to relatively simple direct payments for tickets and subscribers.
We’ve yet to see evidence of this ad revenue sharing program operating on Twitter, but we’ll be monitoring the changes, how they affect creators, and what comes of Musk’s quixotic plans to turn Twitter into a YouTube competitor. to make.