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13 Apr, 2023 21:12

Musk announces new Twitter monetization tool

The platform will not take a cut for the first year under the new system, which launched days after Substack’s Notes
Musk announces new Twitter monetization tool

Twitter CEO Elon Musk has expanded Twitter’s product offerings in an apparent bid to compete with blogging platform Substack, tweeting on Thursday that users can “apply to offer your followers subscriptions of any material, from longform text to hours long video!

The billionaire explained that “Twitter will keep none of the money” users make during the next 12 months, meaning they can earn 70% of the cost of iOS and Android subscriptions and about 92% for web subscriptions. 

After the first year, smartphone returns drop to 15%, though Musk promised Twitter would “add a small amount on top of that, depending on volume.” 

Twitter will even help promote subscription users, the Tesla tycoon pledged, claiming “our goal is to maximize creator prosperity.” 

At any point, you can leave our platform and take your work with you,” Musk continued, adding, “Easy in, easy out.

The supposedly no-strings-attached subscription plan was announced just days after Substack’s own Notes platform went live. Notes allows users to post short-form content and share links and images in a manner similar to tweets without leaving Substack, and Musk is widely believed to see it as a direct threat.

When Notes was first announced last week, Twitter disabled retweets and replies on tweets containing links to Substack blogs and disabled embedding tweets in Substack posts. Embedding has since been restored, though some Substack users say their tweets linking to the website are still suppressed. 

While Substack’s blog describes Notes as “providing writers with an alternative for growth outside of traditional social networks,” the platform’s head of communications, Helen Tobin, told Ars Technica that Notes was not intended to rival Twitter at all. “They have two different business models, with different incentives,” she said. 

While Substack only has 35 million active subscribers compared to Twitter’s 368 million active monthly users, 2 million Substack users pay for the privilege — compared to just 385,000 Twitter Blue subscribers.

Twitter’s new subscription model launched the same day as a partnership with trading platform eToro, which will allow users to access real-time price data for cryptocurrencies and stocks with a one-click off-ramp to actually trading them through eToro. 

Musk has previously stated he wanted to see Twitter become an “everything app” similar to China’s WeChat, a social media platform in which the user can also make purchases, schedule appointments, do banking, and pay bills. He merged Twitter into a shell corporation called X Corp, the name of his everything app, earlier this month.