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Twitter Opens Up Super Follows to All Users on iOS

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Twitter has opened up its new ‘Super Follow’ option to all users on iOS, which will provide more monetization potential for creators, expanding the capacity for them to draw direct income from their biggest fans.

Super Follow

Originally opened for public applications back in June, then launched in limited beta in September, Super Follows enables Twitter users with more than 10k followers to set a monthly subscription fee (up to $9.99) to monetize additional, exclusive content for their most engaged followers in the app.

Once activated, creators are provided with a new ‘Super Followers’ audience selection option for their tweets, which limits the reach of their content to their paying subscribers only.

Super Follow

That provides another means to build a paying audience via your tweet content, which is part of Twitter’s broader push to provide more incentive for creators to keep tweeting more often, boosting engagement and interaction in the app.

Super Follows is one of several new creator monetization projects in the works, with Twitter also currently testing:

  • On profile tipping – Which is now available to all users over the age of 18 (on iOS only)
  • Ticketed Spaces – Now available to US-based users with more than 1,000 followers that have hosted at least 3 Spaces in the last 30 days
  • Spaces funding – Twitter introduced its Spark Spaces funding initiative last week, which will provide chosen participants with $2500 per month to help develop their audio social content
  • Revue newsletter links – Not direct monetization, as such, but Twitter also now enables Revue newsletter creators to promote their subscription-based offerings direct on their profile and in tweets

The initiatives are part of Twitter’s broader plan to boost its usage and revenue, with the company looking to double both by 2023, in response to increased pressure on Twitter’s executive team to maximize that app’s performance.

In March last year, investment management firm Elliott Management Corp. bought up a significant stake in Twitter, with a view to pushing for the replacement of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who they view as failing to capitalize on the potential of the app, with his attention spread too thin across Twitter and Square, where he is also CEO.  

Dorsey and his team managed to negotiate a stay of execution, on the basis that it set these ambitious growth targets, which is why Twitter’s development momentum has since shifted so significantly, and we’re seeing to many new products and projects rolled out in the app.

Though, this far, they’re not taking off. One of Twitter’s early efforts, Fleets, was cancelled after less than a year, while data has shown that its monetization options, which also include its own Twitter Blue internal subscription offering, are not seeing significant take-up among users as yet.

Last month, app analytics provider Sensor Tower reported that Twitter’s Super Follow option had only generated around $6,000 in the US, and around $600 in Canada, after its first two weeks of availability. At the minimum price point for Super Follows ($2.99), that would suggest that only 2 thousand users – or 0.005% of Twitter’s US user base – had subscribed to anyone in the app. And that’s at the most generous estimate.

And while two weeks isn’t enough data to go on, and Twitter is still working out how to implement the program effectively, the early figures are not overly inspiring, while Ticketed Spaces and tipping have also seen relatively minor response in their early respective phases.

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Again, Twitter is still developing its strategies on each element. Just this week, Twitter announced that it will now highlight trending Spaces in the Explore tab, which will significantly boost exposure, and could subsequently see more broadcasters paying more attention to the option. That could make Ticketed Spaces a much bigger thing, while broader access to Super Follows can only also help Twitter optimize its approach, and boost take-up.

It’s hard to say whether any of these elements will become a thing – but one thing that it likely working against them is habitual behavior, in asking Twitter users to pay for things that they’ve traditionally been able to access for free.

Is there anybody that you’d pay to read their exclusive tweets? Outside of celebrities, there’s probably not a lot of Twitter users that could demand a fee for their exclusive thoughts, while they would also be essentially limiting their own exposure potential by sharing with smaller groups, as opposed to broadcasting to everyone in the app.

In a broader sense, Twitter still needs to translate that shift for users, and get them more accustomed to spending, which its push into eCommerce will likely help, which is also in its early stages.

But right now, it’s too early to say. Maybe, if Twitter can encourage more exclusive content and community building, and change how audiences respond to such, these new bets will work, and will become a more lucrative element for both creators and Twitter itself. But it still seems a way off.

And 2023 may come too quickly for full realization of any benefits.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Ahead of World Cup, influencer ‘Mr Q’ lifts veil on Qatar

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Khalifa Al Haroon, known to his followers as Mr Q, has become a social media hit by partially lifting the veil on World Cup host Qatar

Khalifa Al Haroon, known to his followers as Mr Q, has become a social media hit by partially lifting the veil on World Cup host Qatar – Copyright AFP KARIM JAAFAR

Raphaelle Peltier

At a time when prickly questions are being asked about Qatar and its hosting of the World Cup, Khalifa Al Haroon offers a smile, a sigh and a shrug as he seeks to explain its mysteries.

Known to his growing number of followers as Mr Q, the 38-year-old has become a social media hit by partially lifting the veil over the tiny but mega-rich Gulf state that describes itself as a “conservative” Islamic country.

The first World Cup in an Arab nation has put a spotlight on Qatar’s treatment of foreign workers, gender rights and even the use of air conditioning in stadiums.

Haroon’s cheerful #QTip videos broach everything from saying “Hello” in Arabic to the right way for men to wear the flowing ghutra headdress. There is also an edition on labour rights.

With less than 60 days to the November 20 start of the tournament, he now has more than 100,000 followers on Instagram and more than 115,000 on YouTube. And the numbers keep growing.

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Qatar has dozens of online influencers on topics ranging from “modest” but expensive fashion, to the latest sports car being imported into what is now one of the world’s wealthiest nations.

Haroon carved out his niche by elucidating Qatar’s unknowns to its growing expat community — and now the hordes of football fans expected for the World Cup.

Haroon — who was born to a Qatari father and British mother and spent 16 years in Bahrain — said he was first confronted by global stereotypes about Qatar and the Middle East while studying for a law degree in Britain.

He had wanted to become an actor, but instead launched his social media presence in 2008 with a blog.

“I was in the perfect position because I was a Qatari who has never lived properly in Qatar,” he said.

– ‘Trust your own eyes’ –

“In essence, I was like a foreigner in my own country and so I had the same questions that foreigners did, and so it just made it easy for me to start putting together information.”

Haroon said there has to be a distinction between “negative news” and misinformation about his country.

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“When it comes to fake news, obviously, I think everybody understands that it’s not true and so the only thing that I could do is show people videos and pictures and show them what we’re really like because you can trust your own eyes.”

Some people, he said, have told him they decided to move to Qatar after watching his videos.

Haroon, who is now a consultant to the Qatar Football Association and an eSports entrepreneur, said he is excited about the World Cup “because people can now come here and experience it for themselves and make their own judgements instead of just believing what’s written”.

His main grouse is how outsiders see something negative about Qatar and then believe that all Qataris “accept it or we all agree with it”.

Many supporters of the 31 foreign countries who will play in Qatar have raised concerns, however, about the welcome awaiting them. Can they drink? And what will happen to same-sex couples in a country where homosexuality is illegal?

The government has insisted that beer, normally restricted, will be available and that everyone is welcome. Haroon wants outsiders to experience “real Qatari hospitality”, with its food and coffee culture.

“Of course there are going to be certain social norms,” said Haroon. “What we are asking for is just respect the country. And of course the country will definitely be respecting everyone that comes.”

“Some people might make mistakes because they don’t know what the rules are and that’s OK,” he added.

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“The point is our culture is all about intention, our religion is about intention, so as long as you have good intentions and you want to do the right thing, you have nothing to worry about.”

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