April 18, 2023
Twitter appears to be angling for a slice of the newsletter market, with tweets of up to 10,000 words now available to Twitter Blue subscribers in the U.S. That’s more than double the 4,000-character limit paid accounts were extended in February. Those using the platform’s free tier are still allowed only 280-character tweets. The lengthy posts are intended to help users monetize through subscriptions, which can be priced at $2.99, $4.99 or $9.99 per month. In addition to the character cap increase, Twitter Blue subscribers will also gain access to support for bold and italics text formatting.
The Verge explains that Twitter “recently rebranded its ‘Super Follows’ feature — which allows users to subscribe to individual accounts to access exclusive content.” Twitter’s subscription creator page says any user with 500 followers and a minimum of 25 tweets every 30 days can apply to sell subscriptions. Without Blue, they would be limited to selling 280 character “bonus tweets.”
The Verge assesses that “Twitter has an uphill battle to fight if it wants to shirk its legacy as a short-form blogging platform,” noting that “while some creators have expressed an interest in the new long-form features, many everyday Twitter users appear reluctant to read beyond the platform’s text snippets.”
Twitter does seem to be catering to two different sets of creators — the content mavens who subscribe to Blue and can post up to 10,000 word tweets and 1080p videos of up to an hour, and the casual crowd content with short-form.
Social Media Today points out that different areas of Twitter documentation “still refer to the 10K” requirement that applied to the old Super Follows program (including the creator monetization page). The outlet says that with last week’s subscription announcement the number was reduced to 500 and the 10K a vestige.
That’s a sizable reduction. The Verge cites data reported by The Information suggesting “Twitter Blue is struggling to attract subscribers, with the service estimated to have around 290,000 global subscribers: just 0.1 percent of the roughly 250 million daily active users reported by Twitter last year.” But lowering the bar to monetization may be a way to excite more users about subscribing to Blue.
Subscriptions are currently limited to three price tiers: $2.99, $4.99 or $9.99 per month. Last week, Twitter CEO Elon Musk tweeted that for the next 12 months Twitter will give creators 100 percent of the subscription revenue it collects after applicable fees, like those charged by app stores. Subscription purchases are currently available globally on Twitter for iOS and Android, as well as on twitter.com in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Japan.