Twitter stated on Wednesday that the implementation of Super Follows has begun in earnest. Users can charge a monthly fee in exchange for access to additional content, according to the function, which was first unveiled in February. Twitter will take a percentage of the profits.
In an emailed press release, a spokesman noted, “With Super Follows, people can monetize supplementarily, ‘behind-the-scenes’ material for their most engaged followers on Twitter.” “In exchange, these followers gain exclusive access to even more of their favorite genuine Twitter content and conversations.”
This new feature, which is currently only available to a small number of Twitter accounts in the United States, allows users to pay artists a monthly membership of $2.99, $4.99, or $9.99. It comes at an interesting time in the realm of online content creation, following the OnlyFans fiasco in August, when the platform tried to restrict sexually explicit content only to back down later.
While Twitter’s Super Follows idea had been in the works for a long time prior to OnlyFans’ August announcement, it’s tough to ignore the fact that it came so soon after OnlyFans alienated its sex worker user base.
Will sex workers, on the other hand, benefit from Super Follows? We contacted Twitter to inquire about the type of moderation that will be applied to Super Follow content, but we received no response.
In response, a Twitter official responded, “Super Follows is being gradually rolled out to a limited set of users.” “As this product becomes more generally available and we continue to learn and iterate, we’ll open it up to more users and provide relevant policy details,” says the company.
At the very least, Twitter will apply the same criteria to content paywalled via Super Follows that it does to other content on its site.
“Any consensually produced and circulated media that is pornographic or intended to elicit sexual arousal,” according to Twitter. Users can “publish graphic violence and consensually generated pornographic content within your Tweets, provided that you identify this media as sensitive,” according to the business.
In other words, Super Follows might, in principle, provide an alternate source of revenue for sex workers who are leery of putting all their eggs in the OnlyFans basket. However, sex worker advocacy groups like Hacking/Hustling have accused Twitter of “shadowbanning,” implying that Twitter may not be a welcoming environment after all.
Stripe, an online payment processor used by firms like Instacart and Lyft, is Twitter’s Super Follow payout provider. Stripe has a list of banned businesses, one of which is “Adult material and services,” which requires the company’s prior written consent before using its service.
Even if Twitter doesn’t say anything, we’ll probably find out soon enough how the business feels about sex workers who use Super Follows to make money.
That’s because, as of Wednesday, iOS users in the United States and Canada will be able to Super Follow specific accounts. Twitter claims it will spread outside those nations in the coming weeks (but just for iOS), and that Android and the Twitter website will be supported “soon.”
Whether Super Follows succeeds or fails, much like Fleets, will likely be determined by how well content providers of all types embrace the tool. When it comes to deciding who may and cannot use the platform to make money, Twitter has a lot of say.
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