Twitter Acquires News Content Subscription Platform Scroll to Advance its Creator Revenue Tools

It’s taken a while, but it looks like Twitter’s finally caught up with my recommendations, and is putting them into effect.

Back in 2016, in an article about alternative Twitter tools, and ways to use tweets for research and analysis, I wrote:

“Honestly, I wish Twitter would just buy Nuzzel and integrate it into their ‘Trending Topics’ listings to make them more personally relevant.”

Now, some five years later, Twitter is doing exactly this. Which I’ll chalk up as a win for me, and maybe even add it to my LinkedIn profile. I can say ‘Product Advisor at Twitter’ now, right?

Joking aside (and this is a joke), Twitter has today announced its latest acquisition, with web content reading platform Scroll becoming part of the tweet flock.

Scroll

As you can see in this example, Scroll provides a means to read online articles without the ads, “cleaning up the reading experience and giving people what they want: just the content”.

Scroll uses the money it generates from user subscriptions to the app (from $5 per month) to then pass on revenue to the sites it sources content from, which Scroll claims ends up securing even more income than ads for its partner platforms.

And now, Twitter will look to integrate these features into its steadily evolving content and subscription offerings.

As explained by Twitter:

“Those who create and consume news know that reading – and more broadly, journalism – deserve a better future. Scroll will help us build that future, solving one of the most frustrating parts about reading content online. We want to reimagine what they’ve built to deliver a seamless reading experience to our hyper-engaged audiences and allow publishers to deliver cleaner content that can make them more money than today’s business models.”

Twitter says that it will build Scroll into its upcoming subscription tools, which are still in development. 

“As a Twitter subscriber, picture getting access to premium features where you can easily read articles from your favorite news outlet or a writer’s newsletter from Revue, with a portion of your subscription going to the publishers and writers creating the content.”

That, of course, ties into Twitter’s acquisition of Revue, which it announced back in January, which has since been added into the early examples of how a subscription process on Twitter would work.

Twitter subscriptions

As you can see here, when you ‘Super Follow’ someone on Twitter, as goes this example, you would pay a monthly subscription fee for access to a range of special community features, including newsletters and exclusive content.

Through this proposed update, powered by Scroll, users would seemingly be able to subscribe to Twitter itself, which would then enable them to view a selected number of user newsletters or posts per month, with the money you pay then allocated to each creator/publisher that you engage with.

So rather than subscribing to just a few creators or outlets, the process seems to provide a means to read a certain amount of content from any Twitter creators you choose each month – so essentially, you’d be subscribing to Twitter, not to individuals.

It’s an interesting proposal, which will still require some further analysis to fully iron out. 

But as noted, there is another impact – Scroll also owns Twitter content analysis and connection platform Nuzzel, which, like me, many Twitter users have praised for years.

Nuzzel

Nuzzel is actually a fairly basic tool that analyzes your Twitter network (i.e. those you follow or those who follow you) and then shows you the most popular content shared among those user groups, as defined by your selections. That provides insights on, for example, how many of your connections have shared each post, which can be hugely helpful in understanding key trends and shifts, and what’s resonating most with your broader audience.

Now, finally, Twitter will look to add that into the Twitter experience.

The sad part is that Nuzzel itself will be shut down until it re-appears within Twitter. 

But it’s interesting to consider the broader Twitter subscription offering, which is slowly taking form, and how these new features will be built into ‘Super Follows’ or a new Twitter subscription service, which will provide a new means for creators to generate income on the platform, and could end up being a huge step forward for Twitter’s business strategy.

It’s still too early to say, but there are some interesting things happening – and with Twitter mapping out some aggressive growth targets moving forward, it needs to take some big steps like this to progress its app.

Otherwise, there’ll be some big changes at Twitter HQ.

One way or another, big changes are coming to your tweet stream. 




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