Twitter is introducing a new feature that allows users to send money to their favourite creators through the social media platform. Introduced as Tip Jar on Twitter’s blog post, the feature is still only available to a limited group of people who use Twitter in English.
Today we’re introducing Tip Jar, a new way for people to send and receive tips. 🧵 https://t.co/UcPV27oHR1
— Esther Crawford (@esthercrawford) May 6, 2021
A Tip Jar-enabled account will have a “cash icon” next to the follow button on the profile page. Enabled users can then pick one of the payments services offered.
Currently, the new feature supports Bandcamp, Cash App, Patreon, PayPal, and Venmo. Android users can also send payments through the recently expanded Spaces announced on Twitter’s blog.
According to the blog post, “Tip Jar is an easy way to support the incredible voices that make up the conversation on Twitter. This is a first step in our work to create new ways for people to receive and show support on Twitter – with money.”
Meanwhile, the platform has been devising ways to generate revenue following a $260 million drop from its revenue in Q4 2020. In the platform’s Q4 2020 report, it reported revenue of $1.3 billion. In Q1 2021, the report read a total revenue of $1.04 billion.
While the Tip Jar feature is to show support on Twitter, it might eventually be a source of revenue for Twitter
In February, we predicted that Twitter would explore a tipping feature among other non-ad related prospects to increase revenue. At the moment, the platform has introduced other features such as Super Follows and might introduce Undo Tweets.
Though Twitter isn’t taking any cut from Tip Jar now, it is likely to do so when the feature is available to more people.
While some users like Austin Rief, Morning Brew CEO, are excited about the feature, some privacy issues have been raised. Rachel Tobac, a user who tested the feature, tweeted that the PayPal receipt contained the sender’s address. However, Twitter support has taken action on the issue in a tweet that read, “We’re updating our tipping prompt and Help Center to make it clearer that other apps may share info between people sending/receiving tips, per their terms.”
Limited to only journalists, creators, experts, and non-profits, Twitter promises that more people will be able to add Tip Jar to their profiles.
However, it is not clear the criteria Twitter will use to identify users with access to the feature. Perhaps the feature will only be available to verified or paid subscribers.