Twitter Aims to Double Revenue by 2023 -- Update
By Sarah E. Needleman
Twitter Inc. plans to introduce a subscription service for
content creators and said it would explore tipping, as it looks to
double its annual revenue and accelerate user growth over the next
The social-media company on Thursday said the subscription
initiative, called Super Follows, will give people an opportunity
to receive payments for their content. Twitter expects it to appeal
to so-called influencers with large internet followings and plans
to launch it this year.
Twitter executives didn't say when it would roll out tipping or
share details on how it will work. The company also didn't disclose
how much of a percentage it would take from sales for that feature
or Super Follows.
Dantley Davis, Twitter's head of design and research, said that
"an audience-funded model where subscribers can directly fund the
content that they value most is a durable incentive model that
aligns interests of creators and consumers."
Twitter disclosed the new business models at an online event for
analysts, its first in several years, and said they are part of
Twitter's broader goal of reaching at least $7.5 billion in revenue
or more by 2023, up from the $3.7 billion it made last year,
according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The
company is projecting its daily user base to grow to at least 315
million by the end of 2023, or around 20% annually between now and
Shares in Twitter rose 5% in Thursday trading.
Moving into subscriptions could be a way for Twitter to rely
less on advertising, which accounted for 86% of the company's total
revenue in 2020. Last month Twitter said it reached a deal to buy
newsletter platform Revue Holding BV, tapping into a trend of tech
companies providing content creators with tools to make money. The
growing space includes other newsletter startups such as Substack
Inc. and Rocket Science Group LLC's Mailchimp.
With tipping, Twitter would join several other social-networking
companies that offer users the opportunity to show support for one
another or groups of users. Alphabet Inc.'s YouTube, Amazon.com
Inc.'s live-streaming service Twitch and chat platform Discord Inc.
allow users to purchase digital perks for this purpose.
Though it is working to build other lines of business, Twitter
has added and improved tools for advertisers looking to market on
the platform. The company has said one way it hopes to grow is by
appealing to more small-business advertisers. The most of its
advertisers are large companies.
Twitter has said Apple Inc.'s pending privacy changes could have
a modest impact on its advertising business and that user growth
might slow this year compared with the early months of the
coronavirus pandemic, when many people started to spend more time
online and on social media.
User growth is critical for Twitter because although its base
has been growing for years, it lags behind competitors such as
Facebook Inc. and Snap Inc., parent of ephemeral-messaging platform
Snapchat. For the December-ended quarter, Twitter said it had 192
million daily users, while Facebook reported roughly 1.85 billion
and Snap said it had 265 million.
This year Twitter has said it plans to expand its workforce by
more than 20%, mainly in areas such as engineering, product, design
and research. The company ended 2020 with more than 5,500
Write to Sarah E. Needleman at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 25, 2021 15:47 ET (20:47 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.