By: William Sikkens
Host, User Friendly 2.0 Saturday’s at 5:00 p.m.

Twitter is looking for ways to make money from it’s users according to CEO Jack Dorsey.  In a statement last week he said that a paid subscription model is one approach being considered.

Twitter’s core method of making money, advertising, has seen a sharp decline recently.

Dorsey said “You will likely see some tests this year”.   He went on to say he has “a really high bar for when we would ask consumers to pay for aspects of Twitter” and confirmed that Twitter was in the “very, very early phases of exploring.”

Ad revenue has been reduced among most social media platforms due to a combination of advertisers pullback due to the pandemic and an ad boycott of social media by a number of large companies.


Twitter has seen a 23% decrease of second-quarter ad revenue in 2020 compared to 2019.

To make matters worse Twitter suffered a hack in which dozens of high profile accounts were taken over by scammers.  This scam asked users to send bitcoin to an account and the sender would receive twice what they sent.  While the exact amount is unknown the scam netted the bad actors at least $100,000.   Accounts that the scam message came from included former Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates,  Tesla founder Elon Musk, Former President Barack Obama, Apple Computer, and others.

A subscription model for a social media company would most likely leave base features free but add a host of additional options to the paid levels.  Some features on Twitter could include an “untweet” (undo) button, the ability to change the colors and font of your tweet, the ability to publish videos up to 5x longer than now, and user roles.   User roles would mean that if you had an organization with a Twitter account you could assign different people in your organization different access levels.

Some of the other features being considered would be an auto responder, badges (a badge on your profile that links to businesses you own or work for), and brand surveys for your ads.

Another interesting feature being discussed is called “social listening”.  You can see tweets around your account including total volume, the people and businesses who are talking most often, and what they have said.

While the exact details of a paid Twitter subscription including the costs are still unknown, it is clear that Twitter is planning the launch of a premium membership service.   Would you pay a monthly or annual subscription for your social media?  Let us know!

William (Bill) Sikkens has been an on-air technology expert since 2014. With an expertise in I.T., cyber security and software design he has had more than 20 years’ experience with advanced technology. Sikkens conceptualizes and designs custom applications for many professional industries from health care to banking and has the ability to explain the details in a way all can understand.  Article edited by Gretchen Winkler, who along with Jeremy Winkler are the co-hosts of User Friendly 2.0 here on The Answer Saturday’s at 5:00 p.m.

Links and brand/store information provided are for information only and are not endorsed by Salem Media Group, KPAM or the shows hosts

Got a technology question or comment for Bill? Follow him on Twitter @sikkensw