Twitter is taking its creator monetization efforts to the next level, with a new revenue sharing program for ads displayed in tweet replies. Elon Musk, Twitter’s CEO, revealed this latest development, which provides an additional opportunity for users to earn money from their presence on the platform. However, there are important details to consider.

To participate in the program, creators must be Twitter Blue subscribers or have received verification as a gift. This requirement aligns with Twitter’s overall strategy for verification, although the criteria for verification remain uncertain. It seems that having a phone number and financial means are the main factors. It’s worth noting that only ads shown within the replies of verified users will count towards the revenue pool shared with creators.

You might be wondering, doesn’t Twitter reduce ad exposure for Twitter Blue subscribers? While it does, this reduction won’t affect the new revenue sharing program. The implementation of Twitter Blue has raised concerns about Musk’s commitment to halving ad exposure for paying subscribers, which could have a significant impact on Twitter’s revenue. On average, Twitter generates $12 per user per quarter in the US, mostly from ad exposure. Therefore, cutting ad exposure in half would mean that Twitter Blue subscribers would generate $6 per user per quarter solely from ads. However, Twitter has adjusted its approach since Musk’s initial announcement.

In April, Twitter announced that Blue subscribers would see “50% fewer ads in the For You and Following timelines,” but the same amount in other areas. This adjustment minimizes potential revenue loss and aligns with the new revenue sharing program. Now let’s consider the potential ad exposure and the income Twitter creators can expect from this initiative. Based on current estimates, Twitter earns around $30 per quarter per Twitter Blue user (considering reduced ad exposure and monthly payments). With around 700,000 Twitter Blue subscribers, this would result in approximately $21 million per quarter for Twitter. While most ad exposure comes from the main feed and not replies, Twitter Blue subscribers are likely more active on the app, making them valuable in this context. So Elon Musk’s block payment of $5 million can be seen as a fraction of the overall revenue from Twitter Blue users.

However, the issue is dilution. If we divide $5 million by 700,000 subscribers, each user would receive around $7.14. If every Twitter Blue subscriber posted content that generated an equal number of ads in their replies, they would receive a small payment from this program every three months (around $2.38 per month, for reference). Of course, this is not how it will work in practice. Some users will earn more based on the number of replies they receive, allowing Twitter to display more ads and generate a larger revenue share. But the payments are unlikely to be substantial; they may not even cover the cost of a monthly Twitter Blue subscription.

This program is part of Twitter’s broader efforts to monetize creators and represents another step in its revenue sharing plans. However, compared to platforms like YouTube or Instagram, where content creators can earn direct income, the revenue from Twitter’s program is unlikely to be significant. For reference, YouTube pays an average of $5,000 per million views on a video. One potential concern with this initiative is the incentive it creates. The program could encourage users to post tweets that generate a lot of replies. Emotional and controversial content tends to trigger more engagement and comments. However, this could lead to more arguments and divisive content on the platform, which goes against Elon Musk’s vision of focusing on “unregretted user minutes.” It appears that this new program may contradict that mission, although Elon himself seems to enjoy argumentative and challenging discussions on the app.

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