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Jack Dorsey says Twitter in the early phases of exploring a subscription model, other revenue options

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that he has a high bar when it comes to asking consumers to pay for aspects of Twitter.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | July 24, 2020 | Updated 10:47 IST
(Source: Reuters)

Highlights

  • Jack Dorsey has confirmed that Twitter is looking at exploring a subscription model for the platform.
  • In its Q2 letter to shareholders, Twitter mentioned that it would only test these options in 2020.
  • Earlier this month, job listings showed that Twitter was working towards a subscription model codenamed Gryphon.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has confirmed that Twitter is looking at exploring a subscription model for the platform, although it is in the very early phases of exploration. He also said that Twitter is looking at other options to generate revenue.

"You will likely see some tests this year" of various approaches, Dorsey told analysts, CNN reported. Dorsey said he has "a really high bar for when we would ask consumers to pay for aspects of Twitter." He confirmed that Twitter is seeking to diversify its sources of revenue in what are "very, very early phases of exploring."

Twitter in its Q2 letter to shareholders noted by Business Insider wrote: "We are also in the early stages of exploring additional potential revenue product opportunities to complement our advertising business. These may include subscriptions and other approaches, and although our exploration is very early and we do not expect any revenue attributable to these opportunities in 2020 you may see tests or hear us talk more about them as our work progresses."

As per the company's Q2 earnings report, Twitter's advertising revenue has fallen by 23 per cent.

Earlier this month, rumours flared about Twitter having a subscription platform through job listings that were posted by the platform, that were later tweaked.

Twitter's job listing had initially stated that it could be working on a subscription platform codenamed Gryphon. The job listing stated that Gryphon was a team of web engineers who are collaborating with the Payments team and Twitter team. The company stated that it was looking for a full-stack engineer to lead the payment and subscription team.

The job listing stated that Twitter was working on the potential subscription platform for the first time but did not clarify how the social media platform would go about it.

A paid subscription revenue could help Twitter find a source of revenue beyond advertising and data licensing. After the job listing, Twitter's shares closed up more than 7 per cent.

Twitter has been subject to the ad boycott that tech giants are facing for taking no action on hate speech on platforms.

"We want to make sure any new line of revenue is complementary to our advertising business," Dorsey told CNN. "We do think there is a world where subscription is complementary, where commerce is complementary, where helping people manage paywalls ... we think is complementary," Dorsey added.

Twitter may also face scrutiny in the upcoming antitrust hearing after last week's major hack that put the platform's security in a vulnerable position.

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