Rich Stroffolino

Twitter's Unique Ad-Rev Share

Twitter rolled out ad-revenue sharing and the setup of it is unique:

“This means that creators can get a share in ad revenue starting in the replies to their posts,” a Twitter help article published today reads. “This is part of our effort to help people earn a living directly on Twitter.” Musk tweeted today that payouts “will be cumulative from when I first promised to do so in February.”

Not Just Consumption

Twitter came late to this game. YouTube has been doing this for years, TikTok and Snap both run similar programs with short form video. Still at least it beat Instagram to launching something.

But the format of the program is novel. All these other systems focus focus on consumption. Now creators know that engagement leads to better algorithmic visibility, which directly feeds views. But still, the onus for that is on the creator, it’s not baked into the program itself. Twitter is directly saying that mere tweet consumption isn’t enough to monetize. Instead users must literally spur more tweet creation for the program.

A Moderating Influence?

For another company, I might suspect this as a backdoor way to motivate creators to moderate their own comments. After all, if you’re monetizing based on ads run in replies, you’d want to keep those replies brand friendly. Twitter has run fast and loose with moderation since the Musk takeover, so not sure if that’s the case with this program. Still given how drastically the company cut costs, I wouldn’t be surprised if they see it as a potential benefit.

Also this whole system seem to just feed into the most blatant engagement hacking. Looking at Twitter’s Creator Monetization Standards, I don’t see anything in there that would prevent someone from doing legit giveaways of cash to just feed enough comments to qualify for ad-rev share. Good for the creator, but not sure how much value that gives Twitter long term.