Twitter Introduces Paid ‘Super Follows,’ and Users Are Confused

Twitter announced two new features on Thursday, but one of them had most users buzzing. The social network introduced a feature called "Super Follows," which allows users to charge followers for access to premium content. The second new feature will allow users to join and build groups for specific interests.

The Super Follows feature will allow users to charge $4.99 per month to get special perks, reports The Verge. These could include extra tweets, access to a community group, a badge showing support for the user, or a newsletter subscription. Twitter believes this will help creators and publishers earn revenue directly from their fans. This is very similar to Patreon, a platform creators use to provide fans with special content their fans pay to access. YouTube and Facebook have also given creators direct payment tools for users.

The second new feature is called Communities, which looks similar to Facebook Groups. Users will be able to create groups based on specific interests, so they could see more tweets related to the subject. Twitter did not announce when either of these services will be available for users.

Another unanswered question from Twitter was whether or not sexual content will be allowed in the Super Follows feature. Twitter did not provide Motherboard with a specific answer to that. Our purpose is to serve the public conversation," a Twitter spokesperson said. "As a part of that work, we are examining and rethinking the incentives of our service - the behaviors that our product features encourage and discourage as people participate in conversation on Twitter. Exploring audience funding opportunities like Super Follows will allow creators and publishers to be directly supported by their audience and will incentivize them to continue creating content that their audience loves."


The Super Follows feature was met with confusion and frustration from some Twitter users who would prefer the social network work on other issues. "Curious whether newsrooms will allow reporters to generate extra revenues for themselves in this way or not?" Financial Times tech reporter Hannah Murphy asked. "Excited about Twitter's new Super Follows plan. Leaning toward charging $1,000 per month or just $10,000 for a full year," Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak tweeted. "If just half my followers take the yearly option, that will net me well over a billion dollars. But I pledge 2% to charity."