Twitter users were ready to declare the app dead when the service announced plans to charge a fee to view some premium posts.
It will come in the form of a new ‘Super Follows’ feature, a subscription service in which users would pay for special content from high-profile accounts.
This would be part of a new economic model for the free-to-use short form content platform, in a bid to diversify its revenue streams.
Users weren’t happy with the idea, with many turning to memes to express their dislike, including one showing a picture of Homer Simpson asleep and the caption ‘me sleeping peacefully knowing I ain’t paying for Twitter’.
Most users listed other functions, including an ‘edit’ button, that they would prefer before the service started charging for content.
No timeline was given for when Super Follows might become a feature, but it is expected that the tech giant will make further announcements later this year.
The globally popular social media platform announced the potential new Super Follows service at its annual investor meeting on Thursday, where it was described as an opportunity for creators and publishers to be supported by their audience.
A spokesperson said it would ‘Incentivise them to continue creating content that their audience loves.’
But the audience don’t seem to be open to the idea, with hundreds of users sharing their dislike through humorous posts using the hashtag #RIPTwitter.
A number of users suggested that charging for Tweets would attract a similar audience to OnlyFans, a website that allows people to sell subscriptions to adult content – with users paying to see naked images.
The majority of users didn’t feel paying for Twitter was value for money, suggesting it would go the way of other platforms and become less relevant.
Domie said: ‘I’m sorry but nobody’s tweets are that important for me to pay for them,’ a view expressed by a number of others users as well.
‘We are examining and rethinking the incentives of our service — the behaviours that our product features encourage and discourage as people participate in conversation on Twitter,’ the spokesperson said.
Neil Lowenthal, a self-proclaimed struggling writer, tweeted that Twitter appeared to care more about squeezing money out of people than giving an edit button. He said he balks ‘at the idea of charging people for a free platform’.
Twitter, which currently makes money from ads and promoted posts, might be able to add additional revenue via the Super Follows transactions and help it reach its goal of having 315 million ‘monetizable’ users by 2023 – up from 192 million last year.
Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi was not convinced people will be inclined to pay for special content on Twitter, saying that the model works for YouTube as videos take hours, but a single tweet doesn’t.
Twitter is also considering allowing users to join communities devoted to topics via a feature seemingly similar to Facebook’s ‘groups.’
This concept didn’t go down well with users of the platform either, with some claiming Groups are the most toxic part of Facebook.
DrewNYC tweeted: ‘So they’re taking the most toxic part of Facebook, the part largely responsible for the spread of hate and misinformation on the internet, and doing it here? Got it. #RIPTwitter’
The company said it is aiming for $7.5 billion in revenue in 2023, more than double the $3.7 billion it took in last year.
Twitter also plans to double ‘development velocity,’ meaning the number of new features it releases per employee to get people to engage more with the service.
Twitter revenue product lead Bruce Falck told analysts that the tech company was mindful of a potential crimp in revenue that could be caused by new privacy labels Apple is mandating for apps on its mobile devices.