Twitter has recently announced its monetization program for content creators on its platform. For the first time, Twitter will share ad revenue with eligible content creators. The program is only accessible in countries where Stripe, a payment platform, supports payouts. Additionally, in order to qualify, individuals must subscribe to Twitter’s membership service, Twitter Blue. All content producers won’t be able to monetize, though, as they must pass a “human review,” and there isn’t a public application process for those who are interested in participating.
The program’s revenue sharing is based on a calculation of replies to their posts and monthly impressions. Twitter’s far-right content creators have been the first to benefit from the program, with high-profile influencers announcing their earnings. However, Twitter’s lack of transparency over the rollout of the program has left some non-political contributors frustrated.
Twitter‘s monetization program has already started benefiting far-right influencers, including Ian Miles Cheong, Benny Johnson, and Ashley St. Claire. All three of them publicly revealed their earnings since the program’s launch. Additionally, influencers such as Andrew Tate, who was recently released from jail on rape and human trafficking charges, tweeted that he’d been paid over $20,000 by Twitter.
However, not all prominent right-wing Twitter contributors seem to be along for the ride. Chaya Raichik, the creator of @libsoftiktok, offered a vague response when asked if she was associated with the program, claiming that she and Musk had a strong relationship. She chose not to respond to a question about whether she was receiving payments under the program.
Anti-Trump influencers Ed and Brian Krassenstein, who were previously banned from Twitter in 2019, also announced that they were part of the program. Despite this, some conservative content creators who met all the criteria were not included in the program, leading to frustration among some on the right.
Conservative influencer and president of Ruby Media Group, Kris Ruby, expressed that some conservative content creators were unhappy with Twitter’s monetization program. She claimed that it doesn’t seem even across the board, and the playing field isn’t level. She added that most conservatives don’t want to criticize Musk because they don’t want to go up against his wrath.
Impression-related changes to Twitter’s metrics have also drawn criticism. Any type of content monetization carried out in the past was predicated on a revenue model, claims a former Twitter official who worked on creator agreements. According to the executive, this program seemed to have been created out of thin air for a particular group of producers that Musk wished to appease. Additionally, the ex-executive questioned Twitter’s updated analytics, including impressions, saying that “the numbers are totally and completely bogus.”
Non-political contributors voiced dissatisfaction with Twitter’s lack of openness on the program’s rollout, including social media strategist Matt Navarra. According to Navarra, Twitter receives hundreds of millions of impressions annually as a result of his posts. He has been using the network for more than 15 years, and he is dissatisfied that he has not yet received a reimbursement.
Full-time YouTube creator in Detroit, Latasha James, said that Twitter is too volatile for content creators to invest much time in. She seeks out monetization opportunities with brands and platforms that seem well-funded and stable. Twitter has been the opposite of stable for the past year, so she would be wary of relying on their monetization program to make a living.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter, chose not to comment on an email to him at Twitter and at SpaceX, another company he owns. Some content creators have claimed that Musk is censoring speech that he doesn’t like, amplifying speech that he does, and picking the people that he wants to have a voice on the platform while silencing others.
Lu Levy, a YouTube content creator and digital business coach for content creators, said that the things Elon has been doing are not aligned with her values. She tries to respect her values in her business, and she feels that it’s not worth going against what she believes in.
The sustainability of Twitter’s monetization program is still up for debate as it is still in its infancy. Jules Terpak, a digital culture researcher and content creator, said she is interested in how Musk will approach difficult problems like content theft and bots. Given Twitter’s difficulty in holding onto advertising money, she is also unsure about the sustainability of this new monetization strategy.
Twitter’s monetization program for content creators has given far-right influencers the opportunity to earn a considerable amount of money. However, some conservative content creators, who met all the criteria, were not included in the program, leading to frustration among the right. The lack of transparency over the program’s rollout has also left non-political contributors disappointed. Twitter’s revamped metrics and the sustainability of the monetization program are still in question. As the program continues, it will be interesting to see how it will evolve and whether Twitter can retain its advertising revenue.
First reported by The Washington Post.