Amidst a whirlwind of changes and controversies, Twitter’s successor platform, now known as X, has rolled out a new feature designed to deepen the connection between creators and their audience. This feature enables paid subscribers to directly message creators, adding a layer of interactivity and potentially boosting the revenue streams for both creators and X.
The New Direct Messaging Feature: What It Means for Creators
Creators are the lifeblood of Twitter and its successor, X. They come from diverse industries, backgrounds, and niches, using the platform to engage with their audience, share valuable content, and monetize their work. The new direct messaging feature aims to fortify this ecosystem by allowing creators to open their direct messages (DMs) exclusively to their subscribers.
This control rests entirely with the creators, meaning they can choose to always, or only, allow DMs from subscribers. This could be a significant draw for fans and followers to hit that ‘subscribe’ button, thus driving more subscription revenue to the creators and to X.
How Creators Currently Engage on Twitter/X
Before this update, creators had multiple ways to engage with their audience and monetize their presence:
- Twitter Spaces: A platform for hosting unfiltered, voice-based discussions.
- Subscriptions: A direct way for creators to earn revenue and connect on a deeper level with their audience.
- Tips: A feature allowing fans to send financial tips via third-party services.
- Media Studio: A tool for managing, measuring, and monetizing media-rich content.
- Twitter Moments: Allows for the creation of cohesive, compelling stories through tweet compilations.
- Live Broadcasts: Creators can go live or launch professionally produced broadcasts through Producer in Media Studio.
Creators also have the opportunity to grow by leveraging resources and tips from Twitter for Business, as well as by following and learning from other creators on the platform.
Financial Struggles and The Road to Profitability
The new feature comes at a time when X is navigating through choppy financial waters. CEO Linda Yaccarino recently announced that the platform is on track to become profitable by early 2024. This statement follows a series of financial setbacks for the company, including an 11% decline in revenue in 2022 compared to the previous year and a net loss of $270 million in Q2 2022 alone.
However, Yaccarino also noted that “90% of the top 100 advertisers have returned to the platform in the last twelve weeks,” signaling a potential turnaround. This new feature could be part of X’s broader strategy to diversify its revenue streams and inch closer to profitability.
Controversies and Uncertain Future
Since its acquisition by Elon Musk and the subsequent rebrand to X, the platform has seen drastic changes, including mass layoffs and a shift towards a subscription-based model. These changes have been met with both criticism and acclaim, adding layers of uncertainty to X’s future.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 29, 2023
While Elon Musk claimed that the platform has reached an all-time high in monthly active users, standing at 550 million, these numbers have not been independently verified. Data from analytics firms like Semrush and similarweb paint a less rosy picture, showing a slight decline in traffic and user engagement.
Final Words: A Turning Point or Just Another Feature?
As X strives to become profitable and regain its footing in the social media landscape, this new feature could be a turning point. It not only adds value to the X subscription but also provides creators with a new avenue for revenue and engagement. However, the platform’s future still hangs in the balance, with financial, operational, and reputational challenges looming large.
Only time will tell if this feature proves to be a game-changer for X or if it will be overshadowed by the platform’s other challenges. What remains clear is that X is willing to experiment and innovate as it navigates through these turbulent times.