Twitter Super Follows has generated only around $6K+ in its first two weeks

Twitter’s creator platform Super Follows is off to an inauspicious start, having contributed to somewhere around $6,000 in U.S. iOS revenue in the first two weeks the feature has been live, according to app intelligence data provided by Sensor Tower. And it’s made only around $600 or so in Canada. A small portion of that revenue may be attributed to Ticketed Spaces, Twitter’s other in-app purchase offered in the U.S. — but there’s no way for this portion to be calculated by an outside firm.

Twitter first announced its plans to launch Super Follows during its Analyst Day event in February, where the company detailed many of its upcoming initiatives to generate new revenue streams.

Today, Twitter’s business is highly dependant on advertising, and Super Follows is one of the few ways it’s aiming to diversify. The company is also now offering a way for creators to charge for access to their live events with Ticketed Spaces and, outside the U.S., Twitter has begun testing a premium product for power users called Twitter Blue.

Image Credits: Twitter

But Super Follows, which targets creators, is the effort with the most potential appeal to mainstream users.

It’s also one that is working to capitalize on the growing creator economy, where content creators build a following, then generate revenue directly through subscriptions — decreasing their own dependence on ads or brand deals, as a result. The platforms they use for this business skim a little off the top to help them fund the development of the creator tools. (In Twitter’s case, it’s taking only a 3% cut.)

The feature would seem to make sense for Twitter, a platform that already allows high-profile figures and regular folks to hobnob in the same timeline and have conversations. Super Follows ups that access by letting fans get even closer to their favorite creators — whether those are musicians, artists, comedians, influencers, writers, gamers, or other experts, for example. These creators can set a monthly subscription price of $2.99, $4.99, or $9.99 to provide fans with access to bonus, “behind-the-scenes” content of their choosing. These generally come in the form of extra tweets, Q&As, other interactions with subscribers.

Image Credits: Twitter

At launch, Twitter opened up Super Follows to a handful of creators, including the beauty and skincare-focused account @MakeupforWOC; astrology account @TarotByBronx; sports-focused @KingJosiah54; writer @myeshachou; internet personality and podcaster @MichaelaOkla; spiritual healer @kemimarie; music charts tweeter @chartdata; Twitch streamers @FaZeMew, @VelvetIsCake, @MackWood1, @GabeJRuiz, and @Saulsrevenge; YouTubers @DoubleH_YT, @LxckTV, and @PowerGotNow; and crypto traders @itsALLrisky and @moon_shine15; among others. Twitter says there are fewer than 100 creators in total who have access to Super Follows.

While access on the creation side is limited, the ability to subscribe to creators is not. Any Twitter iOS user in the U.S. or Canada can “Super Follow” any number of the supported creator accounts. In the U.S., Twitter has 169 million average monetizable daily active users as of Q2 2021. Of course, only some subset of those will be iOS users.

Still, Twitter could easily count millions upon millions of “potential” customers for its Super Follow platform at launch. Its current revenue indicates that, possibly, only thousands of consumers have done so, given many of the top in-app purchases are for creators offering content at lower price points.

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

Sensor Tower notes the $6,000 in U.S. consumer spending on iOS was calculated during the first two weeks of September (Sept. 1-14). Before this period, U.S. iOS users spent only $100 from August 25 through 31 — a figure that would indicate user spending on Ticketed Spaces during that time. In other words, the contribution of Tickets Spaces revenue to this total of $6,000 in iOS consumer spending is likely quite small.

In Canada, the other market where Super Follow is now available to subscribers, Twitter’s iOS in-app purchase revenue from September 1 through September 14 was a negligible $600. (This would also include Twitter Blue subscription revenue, which is being tested in Canada and Australia.)

Worldwide, Twitter users on iOS spent $9,000 during that same time, which would include other Ticketed Spaces revenues and tests of its premium service, Twitter Blue. (Twitter’s Tip Jar, a way to pay creators directly, does not work through in-app purchases).

Unlike other Twitter products that developed by watching what users were already doing anyway — like using hashtags or retweeting content — many of Twitter’s newer features are attempts at redefining the use cases for its platform. In a massive rush of product pushes, Twitter has recently launched tools for not just for creators, but also for e-commerce, organizing reading materials, subscribing to newsletters, socializing in communities, chatting through audio, fact-checking content, keeping up with trends, conversing more privately, and more.

Twitter’s position on the slower start to Super Follows is that it’s still too early to make any determinations. While that’s fair, it’s also worth tracking adoption to see if the new product had seen any rapid, of-the-gate traction.

“This is just the start for Super Follows,” a Twitter spokesperson said, reached for comment about Sensor Tower’s figures. “Our main goal is focused on ensuring creators are set up for success and so we’re working closely with a small group of creators in this first iteration to ensure they have the best experience using Super Follows before we roll out more widely.”

The spokesperson also noted Twitter Super Follows had been set up to help creators make more money as it scales.

“With Super Follows, people are eligible to earn up to 97% of revenue after in-app purchase fees until they make $50,000 in lifetime earnings. After $50,000 in lifetime earnings, they can earn up to 80% of revenue after in-app purchase fees,” they said.

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Twitter is testing a new anti-abuse feature called ‘Safety Mode’

Twitter’s newest test could provide some long-awaited relief for anyone facing harassment on the platform.

The new product test introduces a feature called “Safety Mode” that puts up a temporary line of defense between an account and the waves of toxic invective that Twitter is notorious for. The mode can be enabled from the settings menu, which toggles on an algorithmic screening process that filters out potential abuse that lasts for seven days.

“Our goal is to better protect the individual on the receiving end of Tweets by reducing the prevalence and visibility of harmful remarks,” Twitter Product Lead Jarrod Doherty said.

Safe Mode won’t be rolling out broadly — not yet, anyway. The new feature will first be available to what Twitter describes as a “small feedback group” of about 1,000 English language users.

In deciding what to screen out, Twitter’s algorithmic approach assesses a tweet’s content — hateful language, repetitive, unreciprocated mentions — as well as the relationship between an account and the accounts replying. The company notes that accounts you follow or regularly exchange tweets with won’t be subject to the blocking features in Safe Mode.

For anyone in the test group, Safety Mode can be toggled on in the privacy and safety options. Once enabled, an account will stay in the mode for the next seven days. After the seven day period expires, it can be activated again.

In crafting the new feature, Twitter says it spoke with experts in mental health, online safety and human rights. The partners Twitter consulted with were able to contribute to the initial test group by nominating accounts that might benefit from the feature, and the company hopes to focus on female journalists and marginalized communities in its test of the new product. Twitter says that it will start reaching out to accounts that meet the criteria of the test group — namely accounts that often find themselves on the receiving end of some of the platform’s worst impulses.

Earlier this year, Twitter announced that it was working on developing new anti-abuse features, including an option to let users “unmention” themselves from tagged threads and a way for users to prevent serial harassers from mentioning them moving forward. The company also hinted at a feature like Safety Mode that could give users a way to defuse situations during periods of escalating abuse.

Being “harassed off of Twitter” is, unfortunately, not that uncommon. When hate and abuse get bad enough, people tend to abandon Twitter altogether, taking extended breaks or leaving outright. That’s obviously not great for the company either, and while it’s been slow to offer real solutions to harassment, it’s obviously aware of the problem and working toward some possible solutions.

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Twitter tests a TweetDeck revamp it hopes to make a subscription product

Twitter announced today it will begin testing a new set of features for TweetDeck, the company’s often-ignored social media dashboard aimed at Twitter’s power users, which Twitter may soon turn into a new subscription service. According to a post from Twitter Product Lead Kayvon Beykpour, the revamped version of the Twitter client will include a full tweet composer, new advanced search features, new column types, and a new ways to group columns into clean workspaces.

 

Beykpour earlier this year had teased Twitter’s plan to introduce an overhauled version of Tweetdeck. In an interview with The Verge, he admitted that Twitter hadn’t “given TweetDeck a lot of love recently,” but said that would soon change with a revamp, which he then described as a “pretty big overhaul from the ground up.”

The update appears to be making good on that promise with a handful of notable changes.

For example, Twitter tells TechCrunch the new tweet composer will allow you to add GIFs, polls, or emojis to your tweets, including scheduled tweets, not just photos and videos, as before. You will also be able to write threads and tag your images.

In addition to the large list of existing column options, users can will be able to access new column types including Profile, Topics, Explore, Events, Moments, and Bookmarks. Unfortunately, this seems to have come at the expense of other column types, including Activity, Followers, Likes and Outbox, which have been removed.

The new advanced search feature lets you use boolean queries. And you can now choose between viewing either the top tweets or the latest tweets in the first columns.

But one of the app’s more clever new additions is a feature called “Decks,” which will allow you to organize sets of columns into separate workspaces. This could help users who want to create different workspaces associated with different themes or interests. Or, for social media managers, it could help them keep up with tweets related to their many different clients, perhaps.

Despite the benefits some of the changes could provide, a number of responses from testers who gained access to the new TweetDeck weren’t all that positive. Users are complaining in particular about the loss of the “Activity” column option which shows whenever anyone you follow on Twitter favorites a tweet or follows another user, as well as the missing messages column.

Others are annoyed that the Timeline defaults to top tweets instead of new tweets, that you can’t create a column for your direct messages, and that collections are gone. Some said it’s too difficult to resize the columns and they couldn’t figure out how to use it with multiple accounts. Others said it needed a bottom scroll bar and the ability to turn off images. As one user put it, “[This] isn’t a new TweetDeck. It’s a multi-column Twitter.”

Worse, a post from TweetDeck itself about the update appeared to show a completely different type of app than what people were used to — with wide columns and a very large photo image taking up too much space. These would be the sort of changes that would ruin the information-dense experience most TweetDeck users prefer.

However, a more reassuring screenshot from Twitter employee Eric Zuckerman, who works in news partnerships, showed off a version of the new TweetDeck that looks very much like the app people know and love, with tight columns, smaller images, a smaller font size.

Twitter’s post also promoted the updated TweetDeck as something that would “incorporate more of what you see on Twitter.com,” which further confused and concerned many TweetDeck users who replied by pointing out that they use TweetDeck because it doesn’t look or operate like Twitter’s web app and is free of the many extra features Twitter introduces.

A Twitter engineer, Angelo Tomasco, clarified that the changes aren’t only about making TweetDeck “look more like Twitter” — they’re about a shared infrastructure that will bring health and safety updates to TweetDeck and allow Twitter developers to spend less time playing catch-up with Twitter so they can instead build out new features and address user feedback.

Whatever your opinion, you can at least be assured that the version of TweetDeck arriving today to testers is not the final product.

Twitter says it will roll out the new version to a small group of randomly-selected people in the U.S., Canada, and Australia to start. (Of course, app researcher Jane Manchun Wong has already found a workaround for that limitation, if you’re interested!)

And Twitter says it will listen and respond to user feedback about the changes.

It will have to, in fact, as Twitter tells us this test is about exploring how it could make TweetDeck a part of its subscription offerings in the future.

“With this test, we hope to gather feedback to explore what an enhanced version of TweetDeck could look like within Twitter’s subscription offerings later on,” a Twitter spokesperson said. “We’ll have more to share later as we learn from this test,” they noted.

 

 

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