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Twitter Eyes Subscriptions for Premium Features

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Twitter is reportedly looking to add a new stream of revenue by offering premium features through a monthly subscription.

A report from Bloomberg states the motivation behind adding subscription-based features is to ease Twitter’s dependence on advertising.

This is something Twitter has wanted to do for years, Bloomberg says, as a majority of the company’s revenue comes from advertising.

The pandemic is accelerating Twitter’s plans to diversify its revenue streams, along with the realization that user growth in the US is starting to plateau.

With the US being Twitter’s most valuable market, the company cannot rely on growing revenue through the traditional method of adding new users.

People “familiar with the effort” tell Bloomberg that Twitter is actively exploring subscription offerings.

Twitter publicly explored this idea last year through surveys asking users what they’d like to see from a subscription service.

Ideas considered at the time were an undo send feature, custom colors, longer video uploads, special badges, auto responses, and others.

An option to pay Twitter to see fewer ads was discussed as well, but nothing came of these proposed premium offerings.

As detailed in Bloomberg’s report, all premium features Twitter was considering are on the table along with new ideas that could result in a share of revenue going to content creators.

Here’s more about the potential subscription-based features Twitter is reportedly discussing internally.

What Would Twitter Offer in a Subscription?

A subscription fee would grant users access to features not currently available.

To be sure, everything users can do with Twitter right now will remain free. With one exception.

Tweetdeck

Twitter is considering putting Tweetdeck behind a subscription paywall. That means having to pay in order to use it at all, with or without any additional features.

Tweetdeck is currently free, but it’s by no means necessary in order to access Twitter. It’s an additional tool designed for power users.

Twitter has thought of charging for Tweetdeck before but never went through with it. Although the idea of paying for an advanced tool to utilize an otherwise free service is well accepted in digital marketing.

There are many premium third-party tools on the market that allow social media managers to use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks more efficiently. So it wouldn’t be unusual for Twitter to start charging for Tweetdeck.

Analytics

Advanced analytics is another premium feature Twitter could potentially offer through a subscription.

Users currently have access to basic analytics such as how many followers they gained in a month and how many impressions their tweets get.

An advanced set of analytics could include demographics, times that an audience is most active, and more granular data compared to what’s available now.

Exclusive content

Twitter could potentially offer exclusive content in exchange for a fee. The company recently acquired Revue, a newsletter startup, which could be an indication of Twitter’s plans to move in this direction.

Another idea being discussed is “tipping” users in exchange for content that’s not available to everyone. Twitter would get a cut, but this could allow users to make money from Twitter for the first time.

From what I gather there’s been no discussion of adding an edit button as a premium feature. Although if Twitter ever needs an immediate surge of revenue, charging users a fee to edit tweets would be one way to get it.

Source: Bloomberg

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Pinterest Focuses on Travel Inspiration and Education for Black History Month

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Pinterest Focuses on Travel Inspiration and Education for Black History Month

Pinterest is taking a unique approach to Black History Month, with a new ‘Find Your Routes’ Black Travel Hub initiative, which aims to highlight places that have strong connections to Black history, while also showcasing Black-owned businesses.

As explained by Pinterest:

“Find Your Routes” is inspired by The Negro Motorist Green Book aka “The Green Book”. The Green Book was a guidebook for Black travelers during the Jim Crow era that provided a list of accessible hotels, boarding houses, taverns, restaurants, service stations and other establishments throughout the country that served Black Americans patrons.”

The Black Travel Hub, which you can find here, will present a range of travel options, along with their history, with creators from the US, Colombia, Jamaica, Brazil and more, all taking part in presenting their city.

It could be a good way to provide education alongside inspiration in the app, while also helping people to connect, and support highlighted communities.

Pinterest will also be showcasing Black-owned businesses on Pinterest TV, while internally, it’s also hosting a company-wide event ‘to help employees gain knowledge about the history, present, and future of Black travel through the lens of Black Pinployees’.

As noted, it could be a good way to both spark important conversations, and inspire new travel journeys, which include an extra level of cultural understanding and education, along with a leisure break.

It’s an interesting take on the celebration either way, and it’ll be worth noting what sort of reaction the initiative gets, and whether it inspires more travel as a result.

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Snap Tumbles On Weak Revenue, Gloomy Outlook

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Snap Tumbles On Weak Revenue, Gloomy Outlook

Snap shares plunged after missing analyst expectations in Q4, while forecasting a year-over-year revenue decline.

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Snapchat Adds 12 Million Users in Q4, Posts Lower Than Expected Revenue Result

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Snapchat Adds 12 Million Users in Q4, Posts Lower Than Expected Revenue Result

Snapchat added 12 million more active users in Q4 2022, and Snapchat+ subscriptions continue to rise, but company revenue missed market estimates, in another mixed result for the private social app.

First off, on users – as noted, Snap added 12 million more actives, taking it to 375 million DAU.

As you can see, North American user growth is still flat, while European users saw a slight uptick. But it’s the ‘Rest of the World’, specifically India, which is driving Snap growth.

Which is helping to boost the overall usage numbers, and expand opportunity. But on the revenue side, it’s not pushing things forward in a significant way.

Snap Q4 2022

As you can see in this chart, Snapchat’s revenue has increased, but a key problem here is that it’s still reliant on the US and Canada for the majority of that spend, with other markets trailing well behind on the revenue front.

Snap Q4 2022

In this chart, you can see that Snap’s Revenue Per User has actually declined year-on-year – so while it is growing, it’s not bringing in revenue at equivalent scale, and it’s even going backwards in some respects.

Which is why its stagnant growth in North America is a problem – though Snap has also seen take-up of its Snapchat+ subscription service increase.

“In Q4, our subscription service Snapchat+ reached over 2.0 million paying subscribers. Snapchat+ offers exclusive, experimental, and pre-release features, and in Q4 we launched new features such as Custom Story Expiration and Custom Notification Sounds, providing subscribers with over 12 exclusive features.”

That’s a handy additional revenue stream, but as with all social media subscription services (including Twitter Blue), take-up is generally limited, and at 2 million subscribers, that’s still only 0.5% of Snapchat’s active user base that’s been willing to pay extra for these add-on elements.

Snap has also faced challenges in rebuilding its ad business, in the wake of Apple’s iOS 14 update, which has impacted data collection, and Snap CEO Evan Spiegel says they still have some way to go on this yet:

“We continue to face significant headwinds as we look to accelerate revenue growth, and we are making progress driving improved return on investment for advertisers and innovating to deepen the engagement of our community.”

Snap has seen improvement in its commerce integrations, which includes digital items for Bitmoji avatars which Snap is eventually looking to translate into real-world item sales as well. Snap also says that it’s facilitated over than 161 million product trials by over 35 million Snapchatters for Walmart, leveraging its Catalog-Powered Shopping Lenses at-scale.

Snapchat AR shopping

Those point to bigger opportunities, but right now, amid the broader economic downturn, and restrictions on data collection and targeting, Snapchat is in a tough spot, and will be for some time yet.

Essentially, then, you’re banking on Snap’s future, and its advanced tools that could help it better align with expanded AR and VR use. And Snap is seemingly in a good position on this front – though again, the impacts of the last year, which also forced Snap into lay-offs, will also have some effect.

Really, then, the results here are relative to your perspective.

For advertisers, more Snap users means more potential reach – but most of Snap’s growth is coming from outside the US. More advanced AR activations could become a bigger deal in future, but it depends on how you’re looking to connect, and product fit.

Investors won’t be overly happy with the numbers, but there are positive signs on the horizon. It’s just that the horizon, in this respect, remains well in the distance at this stage.

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