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Last month, Twitter announced "Super Follow," a new business model that will allow creators to charge users for exclusive content on the platform. To make it work, Twitter will enable users to pay creators, influencers, and others a set monthly price to become a "Super Follower" via an in-app purchase on iOS and Android.

Twitter-Feature.jpg

Apple's in-app purchasing system, which gives the tech giant a 30% commission for purchases made within apps, has become the center of recent controversy. Companies such as Epic Games claim that the commission is "unfair" and that 30% is too high. Most notably, Epic Games in August of last year broke App Store rules by implementing its own direct payment method for in-app purchases within Fortnite, resulting in the game's removal from the platform.

In an interview with The Verge, Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter's head of consumer product, offered a different tone towards Apple's hotly disputed in-app purchasing system. In what could be an indirect snub to the actions of Epic Games, Beykpour said that Twitter is "not in the business of getting around platform rules."
The way I would think of this in the context of Super Follows where we’re building this layer that didn’t exist before — even if that $10 comes down to $7 because of a 30 percent fee, that’s still $7 more than you’ve been able to make on Twitter than before.

So don’t get me wrong, I would love for that to be $9 instead of $7, but at the end of the day, that’s not something that we have direct influence over on one platform. So it’s not a focus for us right now. Our focus is to build the best possible experience that is good enough that people aren’t going to think about the cut.
Beykpour's answer came in response to a series of questions in which The Verge's editor-in-chief, Nilay Patel, attempted to get a specific answer on Twitter's thoughts about Apple's "30% tax." While Beykpour dodged providing a definitive answer on Twitter's viewpoint on the commission, he did say that it takes a "lot of cost and effort" to build an ecosystem and platform such as the App Store to accept payment methods.

In the larger picture, however, Beykpour said Twitter has no "direct influence over on one platform" and that if Twitter implements "Super Follow" correctly, then "good things will happen." Twitter has not offered a timeframe for when "Super Follow" will launch, but it's promising to share more information in the coming months.

Article Link: Twitter Executive on Super Follows and Apple's Subscription Fees: 'We're Not in the Business of Getting Around Platform Rules'
 

840quadra

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
8,526
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Twin Cities Minnesota
Interesting concept (for Twitter) and curious if this will be something that Instagram and other platforms adopt. I think if other companies adopt this type of system, not all will want to support / pay the Apple Tax in the way Twitter is accepting it.

Curious to see if Apple would further reform their policy if and when that happens.
 

GermanSuplex

macrumors 65816
Aug 26, 2009
1,284
29,329
TLDR: I agree with Twitter’s view on the App Store.

I think 30% is high given the scope and scale the App Store has grown to, but it’s still Apple’s platform, and you get a lot out of that 30%.

I think Epic has some good points, but I disagree with how they’ve gone about things. It seems unlikely to me that Apple has stuck with 30% out of greed... I believe there is some logical reason beyond simply profits they settled on that number and continue to do so. Even if that’s not the case, I still believe that while high, 30% is fair for what you get.
 

Scottsoapbox

macrumors 65816
Oct 10, 2014
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Twitter is also not in the business of being profitable, so take that into consideration.
 
TLDR: I agree with Twitter’s view on the App Store.

I think 30% is high given the scope and scale the App Store has grown to, but it’s still Apple’s platform, and you get a lot out of that 30%.

I think Epic has some good points, but I disagree with how they’ve gone about things. It seems unlikely to me that Apple has stuck with 30% out of greed... I believe there is some logical reason beyond simply profits they settled on that number and continue to do so. Even if that’s not the case, I still believe that while high, 30% is fair for what you get.

It is an interesting thought experiment...what is Apple had launched at 20% or 40%....would we be having the same conversation? Apple launched the App Store, and when they did, the industry was thrilled with only 30% because of the old distribution model costing so much more. Fast forward and now everyone is claiming it is "high". So would it really have mattered what number Apple started with? Would we have always ended up here? Who gets to decide what the "right" price is?

Some people might jump in with "the market would if Apple would let it", but you can point to other platforms that sell like Apple does and they are right in line with those.

Not saying this to to take a side, just super interesting how events have played out and an example where I wish we could peek into alternate universes to see if this same thing was happening at a different % :D

Hang on. They want users to pay to get access to content from influencers and such. They actually want people to pay for them to be advertised at! Insane.

The content creators would be allowed to push out whatever content they want under the subscription model. Since you pick to pay that creator, I would assume that if that creator was just pushing out advertisements to you, likely you would not choose to pay them. I would think the model is more centered around content creators creating content you are super interested in and willing to pay for.

Forget it. If Twitter users expect me to pay to read their blurb, they can F.O.

Twitter will lose a lot of users, I can see a U turn coming.

This is not a required thing. Each member can decide if content they create is something that is viewable by everyone or behind a paywall. Even if you follow someone who has a paywall, likely they will have some public tweets and some paywall tweets. Many people find ways of doing this outside of Twitter and then just tweet something that points others to that method. This just allows content creators an easier way to hosting customized content. I don't think Twitter will loose any followers, why would people leave?
 

EdT

macrumors 68020
Mar 11, 2007
2,030
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Omaha, NE
Forget it. If Twitter users expect me to pay to read their blurb, they can F.O.

Twitter will lose a lot of users, I can see a U turn coming.

I quit Twitter a number of years ago, but I realize that I am an outlier. Lots of people are quite willing to pay for social media. I don’t even know what is available but Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and Google-whatever plus probably a dozen that I am unaware of are growing by leaps and bounds. Basically it’s Ego-Crack. Use a service and many people get hooked because it makes them seem a part of an exclusive group.
 

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,710
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Canada
I quit Twitter a number of years ago, but I realize that I am an outlier. Lots of people are quite willing to pay for social media. I don’t even know what is available but Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and Google-whatever plus probably a dozen that I am unaware of are growing by leaps and bounds. Basically it’s Ego-Crack. Use a service and many people get hooked because it makes them seem a part of an exclusive group.
Ah yes, the "exclusive club" - that's quite the draw for a group of people. Sigh.
 

EdT

macrumors 68020
Mar 11, 2007
2,030
1,725
Omaha, NE
Ah yes, the "exclusive club" - that's quite the draw for a group of people. Sigh.

Not everyone that uses a social media platform is addicted to it. But it’s easy to go too far, even if only occasionally, when you are (apparently) anonymous and can say almost anything without negative repercussions.
 

ArPe

Suspended
May 31, 2020
1,282
3,305
Super Follows

Also known as

‘Subscribe now to find out more about vaccine space lasers and I’ll tell you the names and addresses of the people who control these things from the OORT BELT!’
 

Unregistered 4U

macrumors 601
Jul 22, 2002
4,259
2,841
Hang on. They want users to pay to get access to content from influencers and such. They actually want people to pay for them to be advertised at! Insane.
That’s pretty much Patreon’s business model :D This ends up being a way for Twitter to get in on the “I want to support this person I like” bandwagon.

what is Apple had launched at 20% or 40%....would we be having the same conversation?
Yes, because it’s not zero. If it was zero, the conversation would be different, but it would be “Apple’s making so much money and they NEED us developers, they should PAY us to develop”.
 
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finario

macrumors newbie
Feb 11, 2014
8
0
I deleted my Twitter account this year after 10 years, and my life is much better for it. I'm sure I'm missing some interesting things I may not hear about otherwise, but it's a raging sewer of the worst impulses of humanity. I'm interested to see if it's still around in 10 years' time.
 

HudsonSteele

macrumors member
Aug 23, 2016
66
69
So, In my current job, I have a space that we rent out to businesses trying to start up. We charge a percentage (30% actually) of their take because our facilities provide an integral part of their business model (we are a swimming pool and these businesses run swimming programs for profit). The percentage as been the most popular with the startups because they actually can't afford a flat rate.

Real example: One program of our local programs has just over 25 users and makes roughly $1000 per month, but they are able to grow and that number keeps going up every year. Another program has 85 students and makes over $5000 (they charge a different fee) per month. We get $300 and $1500 respectively from the two programs. Here is the kicker, our flat rate for the same rental works out to be around $160 per week or $640 per month. This means instead of making $700/month profit for the smaller business, they would make around $360/month.

The larger program, instead of making $3500/month would make $4360 putting them in a position to command more time for their own program and muscling time away from the smaller program.

Finally, lets look at the 30 percent: our flat, fair market rate was not arbitrary. It is based on what people are wiling to pay for the services we provide separately ($2/lane/hr for a total of 8 lanes). So for these smaller companies, they are given an opportunity they would never have to build their business under fair terms. These terms actually make us LESS money that if we were to charge the flat rate. Once a program has become successful, using our resources and our platform, we then see an increase in revenue. The helps to offset the increase in wear on our facilities and provide the increased labor to manage the increased usage.

Yes 30% may sound like a lot, but it is anecdotally a market standard when creating a bundle of services made of items that could be purchased individually.
 
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Unregistered 4U

macrumors 601
Jul 22, 2002
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I'm sure I'm missing some interesting things I may not hear about otherwise
The paradox is, you’re very likely not. Anything actually worth being posted gets amplified and spun out from Twitter. So, you may not know the MOMENT it was posted, but you’ll eventually know. And I’d say that little delay is worth avoiding the torrent of ‘everything else”. :)
 
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