Will it be called OnlyTwits? Twitter's ‘Super Follows’ fills paid content niche users didn’t know existed
Twitter has launched a new Super Follows feature permitting users to charge for “subscriber-only” content. Only followers who pay up to $9.99 per month will gain the privilege to see these new, OnlyFans-like privileged posts.
Rolled out on Wednesday, the Super Follows feature is clearly meant to become a major part of Twitter, as its first tweets were posted under its very own username (@SuperFollows, of course). The feature is currently only available for iOS to those American and Canadian users who applied for the opportunity to try it out in February, and boasts that it’s a “paid monthly subscription that supports your favorite people on Twitter” while unlocking just-for-followers “super Tweets.”
introducing Super Follows—a paid monthly subscription that supports your favorite people on Twitter AND gets you access to ::puts sunglasses on:: super Tweetsrolling out in US and Canada on iOS only … 😏 for now pic.twitter.com/Mb9sgxbw5F— Super Follows (@SuperFollows) September 1, 2021
However, all is not lost for those who would aspire to become Super Followers. Twitter pointed thirsty users to a series of steps in the thread following its announcement. The account also retweeted the intro posts of its first crop of Super Followers, no doubt goosing their subscriber count (and its own take from the income brought in by each subscriber).
Rumors of a tiered, Super Follows-type subscription service have been floating around for months, made all the more confusing by the rollout of a similar-sounding paid service called Twitter Blue which surreptitiously popped up in the App Store in May. While Twitter Blue, like the lowest tier of Super Follows, costs $2.99, its features (including an “undo tweet” button and custom app icons) are less about interacting with fellow users and more about customizing the individual Twitter ‘experience.’
READ MORE: Twitter lists paid subscription service on app store, rekindling debate about whether new features are worth paying for
Long-suffering Twitter users sighed that tweeters had been begging for an “edit tweet” button forever, only to have another borderline-worthless ‘new’ feature (remember “fleets?!”) foisted onto them.
When everyone on Twitter wants “edit button”, we get “super follows” instead 🤦♀️ https://t.co/6T6uwk314f— Velina Tchakarova (@vtchakarova) September 1, 2021
Twitter add a feature that actually makes the site better challenge— TheNCSmaster (@TheNCSmaster) September 1, 2021
This is like Fleets all over again, this time louder https://t.co/pWZPZaRPBh— New_OKɴᴀᴏᴍɪ (heiress ᵒᶠ ᴏᴋᵘˡᵗʳᵃ ᵖʳᵒʲᵉᶜᵗ) (@0knaomi) September 1, 2021
Others mourned the development as the end of an era, suggesting Twitter would go the way of OnlyFans – the subscription-based adult-content site that recently threatened to shut down its only revenue stream – the aforementioned porn – hinting its investors were unhappy with all the smut (that they’d already gleefully invested in). Twitter has always allowed NSFW (“not safe for work”) content, however, meaning it’s unlikely to go the way of Tumblr, which crashed and burned after banning nudity and sexual content.
And this was the last episode of “How is Twitter free?” series pic.twitter.com/Hc2Rl44i12— Mohamed Enieb (@its_menieb) September 1, 2021
Twitter next month: we will not allow adult content from now on— ELESARR (@eIesarr) September 1, 2021
But some users flipped the narrative, suggesting that “shafting” artists and models was in fact the whole point of shutting down sites like OnlyFans while offering the same features (for less money to creators, of course) on one of its mammoth competitors.
This is gonna be the death of NSFW content when payment processors balk, isn't it? So many artists and models are about to get shafted by this.As if posting dead memes didn't make this out of touch enough.— IdiotBunBuildsOwnArmoredCoreReplacement (@OsakanOne) September 1, 2021
Perhaps more ominously, Twitter also chose Wednesday to debut a new feature titled “Safety Mode,” aimed at temporarily blocking “harmful or abusive” accounts. Currently limited to a “small feedback group” of accounts, the feature purports to “assess the likelihood of a negative engagement by considering both the Tweet’s content and the relationship between the Tweet author and replier,” according to senior product manager Jarrod Doherty. “Potentially harmful language” or “repetitive, unwanted mentions” will get a user banned under current settings. The blocks last seven days by default, and can supposedly be undone if made in error, but it’s unclear whether users will be notified of the block in the first place. While some have applauded the feature, others have snarked that Twitter already has a ‘safety mode’ – logging off.
Twitter already had a safety mode its called logging out https://t.co/YVC3Deu7UO— crukecat #yeezypsychonazday (@openyrgrave) September 1, 2021
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