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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Iran pop singer silenced, but his song remains a protest anthem

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Shervin Hajipour's song "Baraye" draws on the tweets of Iranians longing for a normal life

Shervin Hajipour’s song “Baraye” draws on the tweets of Iranians longing for a normal life – Copyright Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)/AFP –

David Vujanovic

Even though he has been silenced, Iranian pop singer Shirvin Hajipour’s impassioned song in support of protests over Mahsa Amini’s death in custody remains an unofficial anthem of the movement.

The song “Baraye” notched up 40 million views on Instagram before it was deleted when Hajipour was arrested, but he has since been freed on bail and has distanced himself from politics, likely as a condition for his release.

Baraye, the Persian word “For” or “Because”, is composed of tweets about the protests and highlights longings people have for things lacking in sanctions-hit Iran, where many complain of hardship caused by economic mismanagement.

It also draws on everyday activities that have landed people in trouble with the authorities in the Islamic republic.

“For the sake of dancing in the streets; Because of the fear felt while kissing; For my sister, your sister, your sisters,” the song’s lyrics say.

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“Because of the embarrassment of an empty pocket; Because we are longing for a normal life… Because of this polluted air.”

Baraye has been heard played loudly at night from apartment blocks in Iran to show support for protests sparked by Amini’s death on September 16, after the notorious morality police arrested her for allegedly breaching rules requiring women to wear hijab headscarves and modest clothes.

It was also sung with gusto by the Iranian diaspora at rallies in more than 150 cities around the world at the weekend.

In one clip shared by the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran, a group of schoolgirls without headscarves is seen singing Baraye in class with their backs to the camera.

The tune was removed from Hajipour’s Instagram account shortly after his arrest but is still widely available on other social media platforms, including Twitter and YouTube.

– ‘Because of forced Instagram stories’ –

Hajipour’s lawyer Majid Kaveh said he was released on bail at noon on Tuesday.

The reformist Shargh newspaper said his family had been informed of his arrest in the northern city of Sari on Saturday, in a report that cited his sister Kamand Hajipour.

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She had said in an Instagram post that her parents had been informed of his arrest in a call from the city’s intelligence ministry offices.

Shortly after his release, Hajipour was back on Instagram, but this time to apologise and distance himself from politics.

“I’m here to say I’m okay,” he told his 1.9 million followers on the platform.

“But I’m sorry that some particular movements based outside of Iran — which I have had no relations with — made some improper political uses of this song.

“I would not swap this (country) for anywhere else and I will stay for my homeland, my flag, my people, and I will sing.

“I don’t want to be a plaything for those who do not think of me, you or this country,” he added.

In response to his post, many on Twitter suggested the line “Because of forced Instagram stories” should be added to the lyrics of the song.

Human rights groups including Article 19 have repeatedly called on Iran to end its use of forced confessions, which they say are false and extracted under duress or even torture.

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In one recent case, a young Iranian woman, Sepideh Rashno, disappeared after becoming involved in a dispute on a Tehran bus with another woman who accused her of removing her headscarf.

She was held by the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and appeared on television in what activists said was a forced confession before being released on bail in late August.

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