Twitter’s shares rose by 8% Wednesday after it came out that the company plans to put a paid model in place. VentureBeat reports that two job postings hint at a subscription platform called Gryphon. On Twitter’s career portal, the company is looking for a senior full-stack software engineer. It also hints at Gryphon being a subscription model that “can be reused by other teams.” While no other information exists, VentureBeat guesses Twitter is working with its payments team on the Gryphon project. The Twitter posting also specifies an “engineer to lead the Payment and Subscription client work.”
The CNN report also guesses Twitter might want to explore other revenue sources. Twitter currently makes money only from advertising and data licensing. It allows brands to post targeted ads for millions of users.
Also, Gizmodo says Twitter emailed to confirm that they are looking for different ways to increase revenue. Twitter could charge users for added features. These could be seeing “multiple customized feeds” or “personalized alerts on trending topics.”
Twitter might also be thinking of following the Patreon or Twitch model. With this, users could charge others for “access” to their feed. They could also charge for seeing “specific posts on a public account.” There are problems, though. Sudden changes to Twitter’s present model could open it up to cyber fraud or hate crimes. Yet, Gizmodo admits that these are only guesses. It would take great effort to implement these changes.
Driving Up the Numbers
Twitter might also want to shift to a paid model to drive up user numbers, according to the same VentureBeat report. While the company’s 1st quarter revenue rose by 3%, it still falls short of reaching Facebook’s numbers. The rival social network has boasted that more than 3 billion people are using it monthly. As a result, Facebook’s 1st quarter revenue leaped to $17.4 billion, with a net income of $4.9 billion. On the other hand, Twitter gained only $808 million. Even after Twitter had sought ways to monetize its user base better, it still doesn’t compare to Facebook’s numbers.
So, it makes sense for Twitter to try for a paid model. They have gauged public reaction to this model through surveys. In 2017, they planned to offer a paid subscription service to brands and media outlets, using the TweetDeck app. Users could still access the free version.
Twitter might make a shocking announcement in the next few days.