Twitter Planning to Test Subscription Models This Year

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Following a drop in ad revenue, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey today told analysts that the social media company is exploring additional ways to make money, which could include some kind of subscription service.

According to CNN, Dorsey said Twitter is likely planning some tests this year of different approaches, but there is a “a really high bar” for when Twitter would ask customers to “pay for aspects of Twitter.” The comments were made as part of Twitter’s second quarter earnings report.

Twitter is in the “very, very early phases” of exploring different options, and the comments come following a Twitter job opening earlier this month that sought someone to work on a subscription platform codenamed “Gryphon.”

Like most other social networks, Twitter is a free service that currently makes money from ad revenue, but Dorsey said there “is a world” where Twitter could also have a complementary subscription service.

“We want to make sure any new line of revenue is complementary to our advertising business,” Dorsey said. “We do think there is a world where subscription is complementary, where commerce is complementary, where helping people manage paywalls … we think is complementary.”

Spending on advertising has dropped amid the ongoing public health crisis, which has impacted social networks and other services and sites that rely on ad revenue. Twitter’s second quarter ad revenues came in at $562 million, down 23 percent from Q2 2019.

Twitter’s earnings report comes following the major Twitter hack last week that saw bitcoin scammers manipulating Twitter employees to gain access to Twitter’s internal systems. The scammers were able to access the accounts of many high-profile companies and individuals, including Apple, and Twitter is still working on managing the aftermath of that attack.

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