Twitter could take on Patreon with subscription payments push

  • Twitter is looking at adding subscription capabilities and other digital payment options.
  • This could help it capitalize on growing interest in subscriptions and social commerce.
  • Insider Intelligence publishes hundreds of insights, charts, and forecasts on the Payments & Commerce industry with the Payments & Commerce Briefing. You can learn more about subscribing here.

The social media platform is considering allowing users to receive tips and other digital payments from their followers in an effort to drive revenues and engagement, per Reuters.

It’s also building out subscription capabilities that would surely include payments opportunities as well, though CEO Jack Dorsey recently noted that the segment likely won’t be a meaningful revenue contributor until 2022. It remains to be seen how Twitter will integrate payments functionality into its platform, but Dorsey’s position as CEO of Square gives the company payments expertise and possibly an opportunity to partner with Square.

Developing subscription payments capabilities could help Twitter carve out a niche in the growing subscription payments and social commerce spaces. Subscription services have quickly gained popularity in recent years, and if Twitter adds the ability to accept tips and charge subscription fees related to content, it could challenge subscription platforms like Patreon, which sent creators over $500 million in 2019.

Meanwhile, social commerce is booming—it’s expected to reach $36.09 billion in US retail sales this year, per eMarketer estimates from Insider Intelligence—though it’s dominated by platforms like Facebook and Instagram that are focused on selling goods. By focusing on subscription payments, Twitter can potentially find its own path to success in social commerce, while using its popularity to compete with other subscription service platforms.

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