RIP Twitter? Aiming to grow revenue, Twitter unveils controversial new feature

Twitter plans to let users charge followers, but the "Super Follower" feature saw immediate blowback from users.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Twitter on Thursday rolled out a strategy, including a series of new features it plans to introduce, to help the company double its annual revenue by 2023. The new features, however, include a "Super Follower" tool that will let users monetize their tweets -- an idea that didn't go over well with Twitter's current user base. 

Immediately following the news of Twitter's Super Follower feature, the phrase "RIP Twitter" began trending on the social media site. The trending topic suggested that Twitter users think the killer feature missing from the site is an "edit" button, not a way to charge followers. 

During Twitter's Analyst Day, executives shared a slide that laid out the logic behind Super Followers: "We're rethinking incentives and exploring solutions to provide monetary incentive models for Creators and Publishers to be directly supported by their audience."

The Super Follower tool is far from the only new feature in the works: In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Twitter said it aims to "double development velocity by the end of 2023, which means doubling the number of features shipped per employee that directly drive either mDAU [monetizable daily active usage or users] or revenue."

Additionally, Twitter aims to reach at least 315 million mDAU in Q4 2023, which represents about a 20 percent compound annual growth rate from the base of 152 million mDAU reported in Q4 2019. The company wants to at least double total annual revenue from $3.7 billion in 2020 to $7.5 billion or more in 2023.

Twitter also announced new tools that it says will promote "healthy" engagement on the site.


"A healthy Twitter is critical to growth," the Analyst Day slide deck said. "That means making sure conversations are safe from abuse and harassment and that we do everything we can to reduce spam and misleading information."  

With the new "safety mode," Twitter says it will detect accounts "that might be acting abusive or spammy" and limit the ability of those accounts to engage with you. The new mode will also include an "auto block and mute" button, which promises to "automatically block accounts that appear to break the Twitter Rules and mute accounts that might be using insults, name-calling, strong language, or hateful remarks."

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