Twitter is considering building a subscription fees platform as the firm looks to diversify its income streams, as per a company official.
“Increasing revenue durability is our top company objective. You will see us continue to research and experiment with ways to further diversify our revenue beyond ads in 2021 and beyond,” Bruce Falck, revenue product lead at Twitter, said in a statement.
“These may include subscriptions and other approaches that will give people and businesses of all sizes on Twitter access to unique features and enhanced opportunities for content creation, discovery, and engagement,” he added.
This is not the first time that Twitter has investigated a subscription-based model. Four years ago, the firm sought feedback from users on the potential of a subscription service that would provide paying customers with access to advanced analytics and alert tools within its TweetDeck management platform.
Advanced analytics were also part of another subscription-based model that Twitter briefly proposed back in 2009, which would have also seen companies paying for account verification.
“While we are excited about this potential, it’s important to note we are still in the very early exploration and we do not expect any meaningful revenue attributable to these opportunities in 2021. Given the massive opportunity to build upon our strengths, our main focus continues to be on growing our ads business.”
This comes in the wake of Twitter facing increased competition from Gab and Parler, and also hordes of conservatives defecting the platform in recent weeks over its crackdown on conservatives.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told investors last year that his firm is focusing on increasing the number of revenue streams.
“But most importantly, we want to make sure that any new line of revenue is complementary to our advertising business,” he said.
“We do think there is a world where subscription is complimentary. We think there is a world where commerce is complementary. You can imagine work around helping people manage paywalls as well that we believe is complementary. So that’s what we’re looking for.”
A small team was given the responsibility to explore options, Dorsey added.
Twitter CFO Ned Segal, during the following earnings call, confirmed the existence of a job posting that described “building a subscription platform” and said some tests would soon happen.
“This isn’t something that I think about in terms of revenue for this year, but it is the stuff that when you’re going to see us working on and experimenting with things, both for businesses and for consumers, where we can improve their experience on Twitter and where we think there is a subscription opportunity for us,” he said.
Twitter’s next earnings call is set for February 9.