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Twitter is considering subscriptions amid an advertising slump

It's in the early stages of exploring new revenue streams.
Kris Holt, @krisholt
July 23, 2020
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NEW DELHI, INDIA - NOVEMBER 12: Twitter CEO and Co Founder, Jack Dorsey addresses students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), on November 12, 2018 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Amal KS/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Twitter just had a successful quarter in one sense, with a huge surge in user numbers as the pandemic truly took hold. It hit 186 million monetizable daily active users between April and June (up 34 percent year-over-year), but it had an operating loss of $124 million during the quarter as ad revenue slowed.

With that in mind, the company says it’s looking into other revenue streams beyond advertising, which could include some form of subscriptions. It’s in the very early stages of exploring those models, however, and it doesn’t expect to generate revenue from other types of products this year.

CEO Jack Dorsey said on an earnings call Thursday (via CNN) that "you will likely see some tests this year" of different approaches. He noted that he has "a really high bar for when we would ask consumers to pay for aspects of Twitter,” however. "We want to make sure any new line of revenue is complementary to our advertising business," Dorsey said.

It’s unclear what types of revenue-driving products and subscription services Twitter has in mind. Without speculating too much, we could see an option to remove ads from the platform for a monthly fee, for instance.

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