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As a creator who spends a lot of time on Twitter, I've never been more excited for the company's future in the creator economy.
Let me explain.
Twitter can be the full-stack platform for expert creators
There are two broad categories of creators:
Influencers: Provide entertainment
Experts: Share knowledge
Many expert creators have built their audience on Twitter, but to date, the company hasn't given these creators any tools to own their audience or make money. That's why creators send their Twitter followers to other platforms - Substack, Gumroad, etc. - to make a living. On Gumroad alone, creators earned $142M in 2020 or ~5% of Twitter’s total revenue.
For years, Twitter has been giving all this value away for free.
Grow and own an audience
Unlike Substack or Clubhouse, creators on Twitter will be able to publish and monetize different types of content (tweet, blog post, live audio, async audio, and video). This can create magical product experiences.
On Twitter, creators can mix content types to make money
Imagine the following:
You publish a long-form post on Twitter. It gets ranked highly and loads natively in the app. While reading, your followers can share any text as a tweet that links back to your post. They can also listen to your post through Twitter’s audio transcription feature. After reading, they can:
1. Sign up for a live audio Spaces Q&A
2. Subscribe to get your paid content
Followers that subscribe will start seeing your paid tweets, posts, and Spaces events natively in their feed. They can also interact with other paid subscribers in a private feed or group DM.
All of this happens without leaving the Twitter app.
Only Twitter is capable of pulling off this vision, but the real question is…
Can Twitter execute?
This is no longer a company that only frets about testing small changes. And I hope that it’s no longer a company that buys hot startups only to squander them:
If you don’t believe me, just look at the way that Twitter is building Spaces, its live audio product. Spaces is a well thought out product and the team is building publicly by seeking feedback from creators along the way.
Sure, Spaces needs to ramp faster and Revue's UI isn't as clean as Substack's.
But it's easier to fix user experience and monetization than distribution.
If I’m Substack, Gumroad, or another company that relies on Twitter traffic for growth, I would try to grow a follower graph on-platform as soon as possible. Clubhouse is leading the way in this regard.
Twitter has long been the platform that gives the most value to creators but captures the least of it. I'm excited to see the company change this narrative and take flight in the creator economy.
For more about the creator economy, check out the posts below: