More big changes are afoot at Elon Musk’s Twitter.
On Friday, Musk announced via his Twitter account that the company would begin sharing ad revenue with content creators on the platform as of today. He said creators will get paid for the ads that show up in the replies to their tweets.
In a follow-up post, Musk snuck in an added caveat: The creator has to first sign up for a paid Twitter Blue subscription ($8 on the web, $11 on iOS devices) before they can take part in the ad revenue share program.
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Aside from the Twitter Blue requirement, this sounds very good for creators! One of Twitter power users’ biggest critiques of the company has long been that it is the only major platform that doesn’t really pay creators. YouTube, Facebook, and even TikTok all have some sort of ad revenue share-based monetization program that’s open to the public. According to Musk, that’s finally changing.
So, you might be asking now, how do I sign up? Well, we don’t know. Musk did not provide any details aside from the Twitter Blue requirement. There has been no additional information about this program that ostensibly starts today — not from Musk, and not from any of Twitter’s official accounts.
If you’re a creator, you should be extremely wary of this right now. Twitter has not shared what the revenue share is, such as what percentage each side would be getting. The company did not explain if the pay would be based on impressions (i.e. how many times an ad is viewed), or if it would be based on how many times an ad was clicked on. Would the revenue share actually be based on engagement, such as how many interactions, such as likes or retweets, an ad received? Who knows?
Twitter also did not share any details on how creators would get paid. Creators haven’t received any notifications on how to supply Twitter with their bank account information for payments. There was no news on where creators can monitor their revenue analytics or even sign up for the monetization program to begin with. Will every Twitter Blue subscriber be eligible, or will there be follower count requirements like other platforms’ revenue share programs? Again, these are all very good questions that have yet to be answered on the very day this program is apparently starting.
In any case, if you want to get paid, you need to pay Twitter first — a fact that is getting Musk criticized by users. Undoubtedly, there will be people who sign up to Twitter Blue in order to monetize their content. But, without any details on the program, it’s impossible to tell if it will even be worth it. For example, If you’re paying $8 or $11 per month and just making a few cents within that time frame, why bother if the sole purpose of your subscription is to make money?
Twitter has provided monetization models to users before. The Subscribe feature, formerly known as Super Follows, allows users to subscribe directly to specific users for paywalled tweets. Big publishing partners have also been able to monetize their videos with pre-roll ads but this program has been fairly exclusive and not open to most users.
Musk’s announcement has brought about more questions than answers, and perhaps none of these questions is more urgent than this one: Can Twitter even afford to run a revenue share program right now? The company has lost roughly half of its biggest advertisers since the Musk takeover resulted in a big drop in ad revenue.
It will certainly be interesting to see exactly how this shared revenue will flow to users, whenever the platform decides to reveal that crucial information.