Twitter last week began paying creators a share of the ad revenue served in the replies of their posts in an effort to retain the platform’s most important tweeters, in the face of increased competition from Instagram Threads and others. But despite the program’s significant payouts, some creators weren’t happy — and took their complaints to Twitter owner Elon Musk over the weekend. In a series of tweets, Musk addressed creators’ concerns over things like the types of accounts that were eligible for monetization, rate limits, and other issues.
Musk had said the first round of creator payouts will total $5 million and would be cumulative from February onward, TechCrunch reported last week. That’s resulted in some creators seeing sizable payouts of four or even five figures, many reported on Twitter.
However, a legacy policy was preventing some creators from becoming eligible for subscriptions if their profile featured “animals or fictional characters,” unless those were directly affiliated with the Twitter account’s brand or organization. An account dubbed “Battle Beagle” — which does not tweet about dogs, by the way, but rather largely retweets from other accounts — pointed out this policy to Musk, to which he replied, “Consider this silly policy deleted as of now.”
Consider this silly policy deleted as of now
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 15, 2023
Another issue arose from an active tweeter who said they were hitting their rate limit a lot — an issue they shouldn’t have had as a subscription-verified account. Musk replied that it should take around 8 hours of continuous scrolling to hit the limit unless Twitter was doing something wrong.
Twitter had earlier enforced limits on how many tweets a user could view in light of what Musk claimed was “extreme levels of data scraping” from hundreds of organizations. The company had also temporarily enforced a login requirement in order to view tweets, but lifted that emergency measure back on July 5th.
In response to the user who said they were encountering a rate limit, Musk replied on Saturday Twitter would increase the rate limit for Verified users by 50%, which would take effect in a matter of hours.
We will increase the rate limit for verified users by 50%. Should take effect within a few hours.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 16, 2023
The Twitter owner also noted that, soon, Twitter would begin to share ad revenue from profile page views as well, which should “roughly double payouts,” but only views from Verified users would count as it would otherwise be possible to use bots to scam the view count.
Musk additionally replied to another Twitter user to say the company was working on bringing back the ability to live-stream on Twitter for subscribers, after they complained the feature seemed to no longer be available.
Soon, we will share ad revenue from profile page views, which should roughly double payouts.
Note, only views from verified users count, as it is otherwise trivial to bot scam the view count.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 16, 2023
The creator monetization program comes as Twitter faces its stiffest competition to date. Though plenty of other Twitter rivals have emerged or grown in popularity since Musk’s takeover of the social network — including Mastodon, T2, Bluesky, Post, Spill, Spoutible, and more — the launch of Instagram Threads is shaping up to be a more serious threat. Threads is able to tap into Instagram’s base of existing creators and celebs and its clever onboarding system allow the app to soar to over 100 million sign-ups in a matter of days. Twitter clearly needed a way to fight back — and paying creators to continue to tweet seems to be the way it’s addressing the problem for the time being.