Video paywalls could be coming to Twitter
A proposed Paywalled Video feature will let users charge for video content
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Twitter paywalls
🧱 Twitter may soon allow users to put paywalls on top of videos
👷♀️ An internal email suggests the feature is already in development
💰 Users would be able to charge others to view video content, with Twitter taking a cut
📱 The tool appears tailored toward content creators, and would join other features recently added to the platform for the sake of influencers
Twitter is considering allowing users to upload paywalled video content.
As the Washington Post reports, an internal email suggests a new Paywalled Video feature will let people post videos to the platform and charge others to view them, with Twitter taking an unspecified portion of any money. Mock-ups show users would be able to activate the feature after adding a video to a tweet, and choose from a preset list of prices including $1, $2, $5 or $10.
It’s unclear whether the feature was already in the works before Elon Musk bought Twitter last week, but its remaining development timeline is short. The company is considering launching the tool in a couple of weeks.
The feature is tailored toward content creators who want to monetize their Twitter followings, something the platform’s been keen to cater toward in the past few years. It added a tip jar feature last year, letting users send money directly to their favorite accounts, as well as a Super Follow tool, enabling some users to charge subscription fees for bonus tweets.
Twitter will likely want to expand and shore up such tools that allow influencers to make money on the platform. The growth of TikTok and other social media sites proves how large and profitable content creators can be for the platforms that host them.
Paywalled Video would also directly provide Twitter with another stream of revenue, something Musk has been eager to explore since taking charge of the company. It was first revealed that Musk may propose charging users $20 a month to keep their blue tick verification, arguing it would offer the company another source of income besides advertising. However, it now turns out Twitter Blue will now cost $8 a month. The idea hasn’t been received well, especially by those users who previously had to pay nothing for the coveted badge of authentication.
The email also raises several risks surrounding the feature, including copyright infringements. A system would have to be set up to somehow prevent Twitter users from making money off copyrighted material. But the tight deadline means Twitter’s internal review teams have only three days to assess the risks.
Regardless of whether the feature ever sees the light of day, we can expect more platform-wide changes to come. Musk has already suggested he’s considering big overhauls, even asking his followers directly whether services like Vine should return.
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