It is all about content remuneration, and Twitter is leading the way

Why do we share our thoughts and ideas on social media, really? Isn’t everyone in it for the fame? Shouldn’t we focus our time on nothing but financially interesting platforms? Twitter seem to think so and have started to explore the possibility for creators to receive payments.

In a world where influencers are the marketing stars of the hour, social media platforms try to come up with ways for them to monetize their audiences. The idea is: “if we can make it worthwhile for our creators, they will stick around.” Twitter might not be entirely wrong about that, the influencer industry is booming. However, not every upcoming YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram star will be able to make a healthy profit.

This is where Twitter wants to come in and make its platform more interesting for content creators.

What kind of content is on Twitter

But, what is the content that is created on and for Twitter? This is where it gets tricky. Since Twitter does not have a stand alone feature (as TikTok or Instagram by Facebook do with their video material and pictures), the short message media platform struggles to find “the right” creators.

The most valuable creators are the ones that keep their users engaged on the platform; not one of Twitter’s strong suits

At the virtual Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, Jack Dorsey said: “Introducing user tipping and new features like content subscriptions would help the company diversify its revenue, which it currently earns mainly from selling advertising on Twitter.”

But what would users want to subscribe to? News tweets? Personal updates? Or live streaming content?

Too little too late

I love Twitter, I always have. The platform is more vibrant than most social media channels and continues to develop it’s feature set with the use base. Yet, the user base might be the exact problem for Twitter.

Whereas 42% of all users world wide use the platform on a daily basis, their interaction rates are staggeringly low. Yet, the watch time on Twitter has increased by 72% year over year. This means that it is indeed capable of keeping users on the site/app, longer.

We have to consider how Twitter is used, mostly. For North American (small) businesses, it is a key part of their customer service tool set. 85% of all small and medium sized businesses in the USA use it for that purpose, alone. Next to that, it is a key channel used as a news outlet. But, who creates the news on the platform? Isn’t Twitter simply a fancy RSS-reader to most?

Can they catch up

I personally fail to understand who would be interested in creating high quality content FOR Twitter. Not that I don’t think it could be worthwhile, LinkedIn and YouTube are simply more lucrative when it comes to content monetization.

In a world without competitors, this would be a brilliant move. Right now, I think it might be a little too late for Twitter to join the Influencer game.

What is key? Twitter need a feature that gets its user base to create content. Audio Tweets and Fleets didn’t do it; maybe Spaces will be the game changer it needs. I still think that Periscope was a missed opportunity and they should go all-in to buy Clubhouse, while it is still small. Forget about Breaker and focus on the new kid on the block – the one that users already love.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Also published on Medium.

Remco Livain
I’m a digital entrepreneur, online performance marketeer, founder and CEO of the digital innovation consultancy GANDT Ventures (based in Switzerland). We support organizations (SMBs, corporates and later stage ventures) in their digital efforts. I learned the trades of the (online) business at Venture Stars (MIFLORA), Rocket Internet (Westwing Home and Living) and Insparx (C-Date and be2).

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